Anna Page out, Will Pinkston in for school board race

Monday, April 9, 2012 at 6:05pm

Former Metro Councilwoman Anna Page has backed away from running for an open Metro school board seat while Will Pinkston, a former aide to Gov. Phil Bredesen, confirmed his candidacy Monday.

Both qualified last Thursday to run for Metro’s District 7 school board seat, which lacks an incumbent following redistricting in 2011. Page, however, announced Monday she wouldn’t run for the seat after all.

“As much as I am devoted to public service, I have pressing business and family commitments that require my attention this summer,” Page wrote in an email.

The Metro election is set for Aug. 2. Candidates who qualified last week to run for school board or state legislative seats have until Thursday this week to withdraw their candidacies. Alan Sharp and Hillyard "Al" Wilkins are also running for the District 7 school board seat.

Pinkston, hired by Mayor Karl Dean’s re-election campaign last summer, works as a communications consultant for Sync Strategies, a company he founded. Prior to launching his consulting firm in late 2010, Pinkston worked for Tennessee SCORE, an education advocacy group that former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist chairs.

Pinkston said he decided over the weekend he would run for the District 7 seat, which stretches from Berry Hill through Woodbine, east to Percy Priest Lake.

“This particular seat, in addition to me living in this district now, is actually the district where I grew up,” Pinkston said, referring to the Nolensville Road area between Harding Place and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. “I feel strongly about giving back to my community and my part of the community.

“This is an exciting time in Nashville,” he said. “The school system is moving in a positive direction, and the next board is going to be critical to maintaining and sustaining that momentum.”

Turnover on the nine-member board is a certainty, with board members Mark North and Kay Simmons opting against re-election. In addition, board members Sharon Gentry and Ed Kindall are competing against each other for re-election after they were drawn into the same district.