Karl Lewis withdraws from Selma School Board race

Published 3:06 am Saturday, October 3, 2009

SELMA — The Rev. Karl Lewis has withdrawn from the Selma City School Board race.

On Friday Lewis announced his intention to withdraw.

“I don’t have the time,” he said. “I don’t like doing things halfway.”

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Lewis’ name will remain on the ballot because it is printed already, but he is not actively seeking votes.

Lewis would have sought the seat in District 3, which has three other candidates: David Cothran, Frank E. Chestnut Jr. and Dr. Margaret Hardy.

The pastor of New Sister Springs Baptist Church, Lewis said he wanted to devote more time to his congregation.

Lewis said he understood the demands of a school board member, especially during a building campaign.

Selma School System has received preliminary approval of a $20 million interest-free loan from the state to build a new high school.

“A new school will take a lot of time and take a lot of commitment,” Lewis said.

The minister is no stranger to school boards. He served for 14 years on the Dallas County School Board.

He also served as district director for the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Lewis said he wanted his supporters’ votes to count. He did not endorse another candidate in the running for the Oct. 27 election.

Lewis graduated from Selma High School in 1976. He was in the Army from 1977 until 1981.

He received an associate’s degree from Wallace Community College and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ministry at Selma University.

“If I continue to run,” Lewis said, “my church is going to be lacking. The people will be better off to have someone fully committed to the school board.”