(Dec. 26, 2003, updated with corrected text) -- W. Mack Tyson has announced he will seek the LBUSD School Board 2d district seat being vacated by Board President Bobbie Smith...and says he has the endorsement of 7th district Councilwoman Tonia Reyes-Uranga and former Vice Mayor/current Harbor Commissioner Doris Topsy-Elvord.
In a written release, Mr. Tyson says, "After careful consideration, I have decided to throw my hat in the ring for this very important position. The children of Long Beach deserve a well run, fiscally sound district and a nurturing learning environment where teachers’ work is valued and students are encouraged to succeed."
The release says that he served as Bobbie Smith's campaign manager for her first school board race. The release further notes that Ms. Smith endorsed Mr. Tyson's 1994 candidacy for the 7th district Council seat.
[Update: In an earlier version of this article, LBReport.com erroneously reported that Mr. Tyson's release said he'd been endorsed by incumbent Bobbie Smith. The error was by us and not in Mr. Tyson's release, and we apologize for the error.]
Mr. Tyson wasn't among the top two finishers in the April 1994 7th district Council race...which had a wild history. After Mike Donelon narrowly edged out Tonia Reyes-Uranga in the June 1994 runoff, a court challenge by Ms. Reyes-Uranga prompted a re-run of the runoff in which Donelon won more decisively. In 1998, voters replaced Donelon with former incumbent Ray Grabinski, who in 2002 was Council term-limited and succeeded by Ms. Reyes-Uranga...who this time bested Mr. Donelon. Councilwoman Reyes-Uranga is now among those endorsing Mr. Tyson for School Board.
The release says Mr. Tyson, whose daughter graduated from local LB schools, decided to run because he feels his strong financial background and his experience as a local small business owner has taught him the value of fiscal responsibility. Mr. Tyson, who resides in Memorial Heights with spouse Sylvia Lopez Tyson, has a business in the Wrigley area.
The release says Mr. Tyson previously served as President of the Memorial Heights Association and has been active in other neighborhood groups including the NAACP LB Chapter and the Westside Neighborhood Clinic.
The release noted that Mr. Tyson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from CSULB and has been a LB resident since 1963.
Mr. Tyson's release says his endorsers also include [titles for identification] WLB Association President Pepper Russell; LB NAACP President Naomi Rainey; Ministerial Alliance President Garon Harden; and Reverend Joe Chaney and Pastor Joe Ely as well as former 7th district Council Candidate Thomas Gonzales.
The LB Business Journal has separately reported that Dr. Felton Williams, Dean of LBCC's School of Business and Social Science, is also entering the 2d district School Board race with a number of prominent endorsements. [Dr. Williams hasn't contacted us regarding his candidacy.]