Sanders not running for SSISD board re-election

From Staff Reports

Feb. 23, 2007 - A Sulphur Springs police sergeant has decided not to seek a third term on the Sulphur Springs school board, but that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have future plans for serving as an elected official.

Sulphur Springs Independent School Board of Trustees incumbent Norman Ray Sanders Jr. announced this week that he will not be seeking another term on the board. 

But Sanders also indicated he will likely seek another political office next year. He said he is "considering" running for an office in the 2008 election. Among the posts that will be on next year's ballot are district attorney, county commissioner and sheriff.

Sanders was first elected to the SSISD panel in 2001, then won a second term in 2004, when fellow incumbents Foy Williams and Carolyn Malone Thomas were also elected.

Both Williams and Thomas have filed candidacy papers for the upcoming SSISD election.

Sulphur Springs attorney Clay Johnson has also filed for one of three seats on the school board.

Both Thomas and Williams have extensive education credentials.

Thomas holds a bachelor of arts degree in education from Tarkio College in Missouri, a master's degree in Christian education from Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, and a master's of social work degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. She was also a high school classroom teacher for nine years, worked in the 100th U.S. Congress for U.S. Senator Christopher Bond as a legislative aid on education, labor, health and human services and veteran issues, and was operations manager for the National Rainbow Coalition Office of Jesse Jackson Sr.

Williams retired after 30 years of work as a teacher, coach and administrator. He was assistant principal at McKinney High School and Sulphur Springs High School for four years, and principal of Sulphur Springs Middle School for nine years.

The three seats are for three years each, with the spots awarded to the three candidates receiving the most votes at the conclusion of the May 12 election.

Candidate filing will be conducted weekdays through March 12 in the tax office at SSISD Administration Building, 631 Connally St. Hours are  Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those applying should see election official Judy Gregg in the tax office to pick up packets to register.

In the upcoming Sulphur Springs City Council race, one incumbent has signed up for re-election while two challengers are competing for another place on the panel.

Freddie Taylor, who currently serves as the city's mayor, has filed for a second term on his Place 4 Council seat. 

Both Pat Murray and Gary Spraggins have filed to run for the Place 5 seat currently held by Larry Powers.

Murray lost to Oscar Aguilar in last year's run for the Place 3 City Council seat. Murray, a retired building contractor and real estate broker, spent 22 years in the military in search and rescue. He is also a member of AARP and the Civil Air Patrol.

Spraggins, owner of Dairyland Automation, was appointed to the Sulphur Springs Planning and Zoning Commission in 2002 and 2005. He is also involved with Hopkins County Professional Ag Worker's Association and North East Texas Choral Society, and has served as president of both organizations in the past.

Filing continues until March 12 for the Place 4 and Place 5 City Council seats.

Contact the city secretary's office (903-885-7541) at the Sulphur Springs Municipal Building, 125 South Davis St., for information on filing for candidacy.

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