In the race to succeed Chas Roemer, Kathy Edmonston enjoys a campaign finance edge over runoff opponent Jason Engen for a spot on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, according to state reports.
Edmonston, who lives in Gonzales, had $42,161 in her campaign treasury as of Nov. 1, compared with $34,387 for Engen, who lives in Baton Rouge.
The District 6 contest is one of two on the ballot around the state.
Roemer, who is president of BESE, opted not to seek a third term.
BESE sets policies for about 720,000 public school students statewide.
Six of eight seats were decided in the Oct. 24 primary.
Other than the two races on the Nov. 21 runoff ballot, three others will be named to the panel by Louisiana’s next governor.
The finance reports cover the period from Oct. 5 to Nov. 1.
Edmonston led a five-person field in the primary with 47 percent of the vote. Engen captured 19 percent.
Edmonston is backed by teachers unions. Engen is supported by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Edmonston works in the Ascension Parish school system, where she mediates disputes between families and schools. Engen is a businessman.
In the other BESE race, incumbent Mary Harris, of Shreveport, trails challenger Tony Davis, of Natchitoches.
Davis reported having $18,367 for the final weeks of the District 4 campaign, compared with $5,720 for Harris, who is an elementary school principal.
Davis is president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce.
Harris is serving the unexpired term of former BESE member Walter Lee.
A group headed by Baton Rouge businessman Lane Grigsby — Empower Louisiana — reported spending $1.2 million in five of the eight BESE races.
Grigsby, whose group backs Engen and Davis, said it is critical that the state continue education reforms, including school choice.
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