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Early Risers Eye School Board Seats

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Along with the weather, election season is heating up.

Kristen Larson, formerly a spokeswoman and board member for the Patrick Henry School for Science and Arts, says she's running for the 4th District seat on the Richmond School Board. She hopes to replace Adria Graham Scott, who's declined to run for re-election.

Larson, 38, a communications specialist by training, is a stay-at-home mother of two children, both of whom will attend Patrick Henry in the fall. For the past three years she's served as a board member of the charter school, which will complete its second year of operation in June.

"It's been a very eye-opening experience, working with the city school district," Larson says. "I've learned a lot, and I look forward to helping the city and city schools move forward in a positive direction."

Larson's announcement comes during a month of flux for the School Board, just as a special task force appointed by Mayor Dwight Jones is contemplating the school's $23.8 million budget gap — and how to decrease it.

Four School Board members — Scott, Evette Wilson, Kimberly Bridges and Chandra Smith — have announced they won't run for re-election. Add to that list board chairwoman Dawn Page, who announced last week that she'll challenge 8th District City Councilwoman Reva Trammell for her seat.

That may open the door for the Rev. Derik Jones, the mayor's son and pastor at First Baptist Church of South Richmond. Word is circulating that he's contemplating a run for Page's School Board seat.

Another rumored candidate for the Richmond School Board says he's close to making an official announcement about his political ambitions. Jeffrey Bourne, deputy chief of staff for the mayor, may challenge 3rd District Councilwoman Norma Murdoch-Kitt. "I am considering running," Bourne says. "I believe that I have a lot of positives that I could offer if I decide to run."

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