On Nov. 5, incumbent Reuben McDaniel and challenger Cynthia Briscoe Brown received the most votes for the Atlanta Board of Education Seat 8 At-Large, beating three other candidates. But neither McDaniel nor Briscoe received more than 50 percent of the total vote, so they will face off in a Dec. 3 runoff election.

Reporter Newspapers asked each candidate why voters should vote for him or her in the runoff election.

Reuben McDaniel

Reuben R. McDaniel, III

Occupation: Investment banker

Prior political experience: Incumbent Atlanta Board of Education At- Large Seat 8 member (Since 2010) and Atlanta Board of Education Chair (Since 2012).

Why should voters choose you over your opponent? Parent advocacy is a vital component to success in public education, but the real job of good governance – especially when we are guiding a system through sweeping change – requires a different approach with a unique set of skills. My service to APS, long before I was elected to the Board, demonstrates a commitment to positive outcomes for students throughout the entire district, versus just one neighborhood. Through committee work, public service and my BOE voting record, I’ve shown sound fiscal oversight, strong support for innovation, and a consensus-building style during times of turmoil both with the district and on the board, all fueled by my passion for Atlanta’s children.

Campaign webpage: www.reubenmcdanielaps8.com

Cynthia Briscoe Brown

Cynthia Briscoe Brown

Occupation: Attorney

Prior political experience: None

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

As a K-12 APS parent, I have demonstrated my commitment to Atlanta Public Schools as a volunteer for the past 20 years in a multitude of leadership roles, including PTA Executive Boards, North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS) Co-President, and Trustee of the North Atlanta High School Foundation. I understand the importance of both education policy and how policy affects the every day practical operations within our schools and organizations.

During a time of tremendous BOE infighting and administrative scandal, I led NAPPS with integrity. I was able to build community consensus during the redistricting process, working with our BOE representative to craft an equitable solution for the North Atlanta overcrowding situation.

I have built positive working relationships with public education advocates across this city. I have been actively involved in schools throughout Atlanta and understand the needs in each neighborhood. I have asked the tough questions of our current BOE representatives, and demanded and expected the highest ethical conduct of myself as well as them.

My commitment to APS transcends this election, and my record of involvement is vast and varied. While if elected, I would be a newcomer to the BOE, I would not be a newcomer to the processes or workings of the BOE, or to the special strengths and challenges of each APS school. This reality positions me uniquely to bring a new perspective to the BOE, while simultaneously being prepared from Day 1 to craft policy in the interest of all Atlanta’s public school students.

Campaign webpage: cynthiabriscoebrown.com

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com