UPDATED: City Council Member Steve Mitchell withdraws from Richardson ISD board of trustees race

Steve Mitchell headshot
Richardson City Council Member Steve Mitchell has announced he is withdrawing from the race for a seat on the Richardson ISD board. (Courtesy Steve Mitchell)

Richardson City Council Member Steve Mitchell has announced he is withdrawing from the race for a seat on the Richardson ISD board. (Courtesy Steve Mitchell)

Updated at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 8:

Steve Mitchell announced Feb. 8 that he has withdrawn from the May 1 election for the At-Large Place 7 seat on the Richardson ISD board of trustees.

Mitchell, whose term as a Richardson City Council member expires in May, cited career and family changes as his reason for dropping out.

"I was looking forward to an exciting Place 7 race, and I am grateful for the overwhelming support that I had received in Lake Highlands, North Dallas, and Richardson for this run; however, over the last week, work responsibilities for both [my wife] Karen and I have changed, along with care responsibilities for an elderly out of state relative," Mitchell said in a Feb. 8 statement. "We found that with these added responsibilities, plus raising 5 kids, it ultimately precluded me from continuing in this race."

For an updated list of candidates running for the RISD board, visit this link.


Original post:

After 16 years of City Council service, Steve Mitchell has announced his intention to run for the Richardson ISD board of trustees.

Mitchell, who is also a former mayor of Richardson, said he will run for the Place 7 At-Large board seat up for election May 1. Richardson’s city charter does not allow council members to serve more than six consecutive two-year terms. An amendment to the charter in 2009 implemented limits, which meant Mitchell would term out in May 2021.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to utilize my local government and regional experience at the school district level,” Mitchell said in a Jan. 5 news release. “I’ve enjoyed serving my community as a City Council member but am thrilled about the possibilities of this next chapter.”

Candidates for the school board can begin filing applications to run Jan. 13. Mitchell’s top priorities for the school district are restoring local control, heightening teacher pay, closing achievement gaps and ensuring adequate funding, according to the release.

“The state needs to increase its share of overall funding so that districts like RISD can successfully educate all students and attract and retain top teachers,” he said in the release.

Mitchell is a RISD alumnus and has five children enrolled in the district. He is also a member of the Arapaho Classical Magnet PTA and a former delegate and nominations committee member of the RISD Council of PTAs.

“I am running for reasons that go beyond my own family: I want the RISD to educate all 38,900 children successfully, close gaps and give them tools they need to live productive lives,” he said. “I’m ready to get to work in building upon current successes to take us to the next level.”

Single Member District 1 and At-Large Place 7 seats will appear on the RISD ballot. Those seats are currently held by trustees Jean Bono and Kim Caston, respectively. And while neither candidate has formally announced whether they plan to pursue another term, Bono said during a March 2019 board meeting that it was unlikely she would run again.

Board members in RISD serve three-year staggered terms and are not subject to term limits. Five of seven seats on the board are chosen by registered voters of specific districts, while the remaining two seats are elected at-large. This is the result of a lawsuit settled in early 2019 that accused the board of Voting Rights Acts violations.

Early voting will take place April 19-April 27. Election day is May 1.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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