John Poston suspends Horry Board of Education chairman campaign

John Poston
John Poston

An incumbent Horry County Board of Education member has pulled out of the race to chair the 12 person board.

John Poston, District 8 representative, filed Wednesday to run for chairman in opposition to incumbent Joe DeFeo. Poston announced Thursday that he is suspending the chairman campaign, opting to run for his District 8 seat instead.

Poston said he withdrew from the chair race because of the “overwhelming response” from people for and against the district’s $240 million school building projects.

“It quickly became evident that this polarizing issue would dominate and consume the campaign taking focus away from the issues of student achievement, class size and technology that have been my passion as a school board member,” Poston said.

He also said that making the campaign for chair all about a single issue – the five new schools – would be “unfair” to students, teachers and parents.

He has filed to run for re-election to District 8, where he has served since 2008.

Patricia Milley, a retired teacher, is also running for District 8. Milley is a familiar face to the board, as she attends most meetings and usually gives a public comment about the importance of recess. She said she’s running on the necessity of providing age-appropriate education to all students.

DeFeo, current board chairman, is still running for re-election.

Six board seats are up for re-election in November, including the one that was held by the late Kay Loftus. Loftus died Feb. 29, and the board is still discussing how to fill her seat, whether through an election or board appointment.