UnifiEd PAC Leader Says Its Endorsements Are Based On Interviews, Candidate Stances

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jonas Barriere, executive director of the UnifiEd Action PAC, said its political endorsements have been based on candidates it feels will boost education.

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday lambasted UnifiEd as a far left liberal group and Aloyse Brown, a Democratic candidate for county mayor, said incumbent Republican Jim Coppinger appeared to follow the UnifiEd ideology.

Mr. Barriere said, "Over the course of the last several months, UnifiEd Action PAC has been working to ensure that those who represent us are focused on one thing - that every child in Hamilton County has access to an excellent public education.

UnifiEd Action PAC was created to recommend candidates for public office who will provide leadership around public education issues.

The issues that affect our public school system are clear:

• fair and transparent funding for our schools

• reducing or eliminating concentrated poverty in our schools

• expanding access to early childhood education

• increasing dual-enrollment opportunities for high school students

• supporting the turnaround efforts of our lowest performing schools

• creating a cohesive vision for our public schools.

Since the formation of the UnifiEd Action PAC, 24 of the 28 candidates for local offices that affect our schools have been interviewed as part of our endorsement process. These interview sessions resulted in our endorsements based on the commitment to fulfill these goals for our public schools.

We have endorsed incumbent County Mayor Jim Coppinger because he has been a strong, supportive voice for our public schools and for the students. Our support is reflective of the broad base of support that he has throughout Hamilton County.

In addition, we endorsed incumbents Randy Fairbanks, Sabrena Smedley, and Warren Mackey for County Commission. We also endorsed challengers Chip Baker, Elizabeth Baker, David Sharpe, Katherlyn Geter, and Brent Lambert.

We endorsed these candidates because they have shown to be effective leaders on the county commission or strong voices as candidates to effectively advocate for our public schools.

As a community, there is no question to be successful in the years ahead, we need a public school system that is accessible to all and provides an opportunity for students to excel. The UnifiEd Action PAC recommendations represent candidates from a broad-base philosophically but with one consistent goal – a quality education for every student.

That is the reason we are supporting their election.

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