Columbia County Republican chairman announces bid for school board

A high-ranking Columbia County Republican announced his intent Monday to run for a seat on the board of education.

County party Chairman Brian Slowinski said in a press release that he intends to run for the District 1 school board seat currently held by Wayne Bridges.

Residents of District 1 are served by Greenbrier High, Lakeside High, Greenbrier Middle, Lakeside Middle, Riverside Middle, Stallings Island Middle, Blue Ridge Elementary, River Ridge Elementary, Riverside Elementary, South Columbia Elementary and Stevens Creek Elementary schools.

Slowinski and his wife have six adopted children in the school system, according to the release.

The announcement comes at a time when Bridges might not be legally allowed to mount a re-election bid.

A year after Bridges won re-election to another four-year term on the board in 2008, state lawmakers passed an antinepotism law. It bans family of board of education members from serving as school administrators or on the staff of the system’s central office.

Bridges’ wife, Mary, is the assistant principal at Martinez Elementary School.

The Columbia County school board last year approved as a formality a nepotism policy that matched the state law.

At the time of passage, Bridges and Superintendent Charles Nagle said they intend to seek advice from lawyers on Bridges’ eligibility to seek re-election. There has been no subsequent discussion of the issue in public meetings.

Phone messages left Tuesday morning for Bridges and Nagle were not immediately returned.

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