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Richland Co. confirms winner of special election

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2021 at 2:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Elections Commission has announced the winner of a special election held for the Richland One School District Tuesday evening.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Robert Lominack was announced as the projected winner of the seat on the board. Lominack is now the confirmed winner of the election.

PREVIOUS STORY | Richland One special election polling locations, candidate information

Candidates Robert Lominack, Jim Manning, and Hamilton Jacobs were competing for the spot left vacant after the resignation of Commissioner Yolanda Anderson two months ago.

With 94 out of 96 precincts reporting, Lominack is projected to win the seat with 64% of the votes.

Lominack is a former Richland One teacher and now heads an education nonprofit. Here are a few of his views on issues Richland One may face this year.

When it comes to school inequality Lominack says, “we’ve got to make sure we’re addressing poverty, especially at our high-needs schools. And so they need more social workers and more mental health counselors to try to tackle some of the outside-of-school factors that find their way every single day into the school building.”

When asked about teacher shortages Lominack said,We’ve got to give teachers more support. Teachers are now dealing with outside-of-the-classroom issues and they can’t do it all. Also, we’ve had an HR problem in District One for years. We’re slow to post openings, we’re even slower to hire teachers after teachers and principals have spent time interviewing.”

Lominack also agreed that the mask mandate across the district is why schools have been able to stay open this year.

“The students I continue to work with that need to be in school the most have not missed a day because they’ve worn the mask. I think the numbers have borne out that masks work and I think that’s worked really well,” he said.

Lominack believes his experience teaching the classroom will aid him in his decision-making going forward.

“Currently, there is not a single school board member who has ever taught in a classroom. I think that is a huge blind spot in our current board,” Lominack said. I think our board is creating policies that are impacting teachers every single day—big ones and small ones, and that’s one of the reasons we’re pushing people out of the district is because sometimes those policies don’t have that perspective of a classroom teacher.”

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