Parent volunteer Christy Morris on Tuesday unseated Fayette school board member Will Nash in south Lexington’s first district following controversies about his sending campaign-related texts and a mailer.
Nash, who runs a division of a non-profit providing educator professional development, and Morris, a school volunteer and co-founder of a non-profit that provides food for low-income students, faced off in one of the more unsettling races on the Fayette County School board in recent memory.
The mother of two sons who attend Rosa Parks Elementary, Morris has said that as a school board member, she would advocate for all schools in the first district, including those in which parents could not easily raise money to pay for curriculum.
“I am honored and humbled by our victory tonight and am grateful to the voters of District 1 for placing their trust in me to serve as their voice,” Morris said Tuesday night. “This election is a reflection of our community’s commitment to public education and that commitment will guide my service on the School Board.”
Nash said he was disappointed in the result, but “I remain proud of my record over the last year. I’ve asked tough questions, held the administration accountable and always made decisions in the best interest of students. I’m hopeful the new board can continue to build on the progress Fayette County Schools has made over the last year and I wish them much success.”
After being appointed in November 2018 to fill the seat of Melissa Bacon when she resigned to care for her mother, Nash called for more accountability on the district’s finances. He called for a new financial auditor to ensure that the district spent money in ways that directly impacted student learning.
He also opposed a property tax rate increase, he said, so as not to disproportionately affect low- and middle-income students and families as well as residents on fixed incomes.
But in October, controversies involving Nash’s campaign drew a public rebuke from board chairman Stephanie Spires, a complaint from a parent to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and apologies from Nash.
Nash sent out individual, campaign related texts using parent contact information he received from an Open Records request filed with the district. District officials have said they erred in giving that information to him.
Nash also sent out a mailer using the district’s preferred mailing rate. Nash and school district officials have said that no public tax dollars were used for the mailer. He said that he had reimbursed the postal service for the discount.
Fayette County School Board
- Christy Morris 10,643 59.64 percent
- Will Nash 7,202 40.36 percent
(100 percent reporting)