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Chatham leads Germantown school board candidates in campaign funds

By , Daily Memphian Updated: November 04, 2022 3:50 PM CT | Published: November 04, 2022 3:46 PM CT

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Financial disclosures tend to shed some light on who is backing certain candidates. The contributors in Germantown races this year follow that trend.

Two Germantown Municipal School District Board of Education seats are on the upcoming ballot and both are contested. Dr. Daniel Chatham, a pediatrician, and Jeff Chipman, a high school choral director, are vying for Position 2. School board member Betsy Landers has decided to roll off at the end of her term.

School board chairwoman Angela Griffith is facing a challenge from Carrie Schween, a former pageant queen. 

  Seat Money raised
Daniel Chatham Position 2 $23,336
Jeffery Chipman Position 2 $8,935
Angela Griffith Position 4 $19,665
Carrie Schween Position 4 $12,938

Candidates must list any person who gave them over $100, although some candidates list all their contributors of any amount. Schween listed all of her contributions ranging from $15 to $1,600. The maximum amount any one person can give per election cycle is $1,600. 

Of all four Germantown school board candidates, Chatham raised the most money.

<strong>Daniel Chatham</strong>

Daniel Chatham

“I’ve been pretty involved in our community the last several years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of good contacts,” Chatham said. “I’m just grateful they are confident enough in me to encourage me to run and support me financially.”

State law allows, although does not require, partisan school board elections, but Shelby County’s local Republican and Democratic leaders decided against putting parties in local board of education elections. 

However, Chatham had the backing of notable Republican party figures such as state Sen. Paul Rose, R-Covington, and state Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis. White served as the chairman of the House education committee during the most recent legislative session. Shelby County commissioners Mick Wright and Brandon Morrison — both Republicans — also supported Chatham, who considered running for the commission before redistricting put him in the same district as Morrison.

<strong>Jeff Chipman</strong>

Jeff Chipman

Chris Tutor, the former chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, backed Chatham, and Peggy Larkin, first vice chair of the county’s Republican Party, backed Chatham and also served as the treasurer for his campaign.

“Before I considered running for the commission and before I considered running for school board, I reached out and met with a ton of folks, and I think my message resonates with them and that’s why they are supporting me,” Chatham said.

Griffith gained the support of two former aldermen — John Barzizza and Forrest Owens. She also received the support of Mary Wagner, circuit court judge. Her coworkers at St. Clair Foods and her husband were among her biggest supporters.

Schween held six meet-and-greets that also served as fundraisers. She said those events were the biggest sources of gathering campaign funds. She also had donations from a couple of people from Florida, where her husband’s family lives.

“I’ve been on the radio so many times getting the word out,” she said. “I just have people that just support my calls and message (and donated).”

Mickey McLellan, local real estate agent, is among Schween’s notable contributors. Lloyd Crawford, who had a viral confrontation with a protester in 2020, also supported Schween.

Chipman said he looked to run a grassroots campaign and his fundraising efforts. He linked his website in emails and put it on social media but said a number of his supporters are family and friends.

“Some of my donations, some of my larger donations even, were from people that I’d never met before that campaign started,” he said, adding that he’s seen an uptick in donations and sign requests since the start of early voting.

Sometimes candidates running for different positions have the backing of the same people. Schween and Chipman did not have any shared supporters.

<strong>Angela Griffith</strong>

Angela Griffith

Griffith shared financial supporters with both Chipman and Chatham. Griffith calls herself “a bridge-builder.”

“I’m always willing to listen to someone’s side and try to understand where they are coming from, and then we work towards the middle,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing is working towards the middle.”

Natalie Stickles, an accountant and Germantown resident, gave $500 and $250 to Chipman and Griffith respectively. Primo Creative, a marketing firm, also supported Griffith and Chipman.

Chatham also received support from Barzizza. Steven Chandler, who retired from Tower Ventures, gave $1,000 to both Chatham and Griffith.

<strong>Carrie Schween</strong>

Carrie Schween

Chatham also shared supporters with Schween, the biggest being Paul Boyle, the president of Boyle Investment Co. They also both received funds from Kristin Hicks, a mother, writer and vocal critic of the board of education. Rebekah Grant, a homebuilder, also supported both Chatham and Schween.

All four are parents of current GMSD students. School board candidates serve at large and residents can vote for one candidate for each seat.

Election Day is Tuesday. In addition to the school board race, Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen seats are on the ballot. Mayor Mike Palazzolo and Alderwoman Mary Anne Gibson are running unopposed. Alderman Scott Sanders is facing a challenge from Manjit Kaur.

Topics

Germantown Germantown Board of Education 2022 germantown election Daniel Chatham Jeff Chipman Angela Griffith carrie schween Germantown muncipal school district GMSD School Board position 2 School Board Position 4
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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