The lone challenger to the chairman of the Jackson County Board of Education has withdrawn his candidacy.
Lance McMurray, Commerce, removed his name from the July 31 primary in the race for District 4 of the BOE on Wednesday.
That school board seat largely serves East Jackson and parts of South Jackson. Without a challenger, current BOE chairman Lynn Massey-Wheeler will serve another term. Both Massey-Wheeler and McMurray qualified as Republicans.
For the Jackson County BOE, the chairman is decided among members of the school board. Voters don’t decide that particular role.
McMurray said his decision to withdraw from the race came after he gave second thoughts about the time demands the elected position would require for his family and job obligations.
“I think the BOE is truly a public service job, because it pays $1,200 a year and it makes huge demands on you personally,” he said.
McMurray has three daughters — ages 7, 9 and 13 — enrolled in East Jackson schools with extracurricular activities. His wife is a teacher at North Jackson Elementary School. And, he has a sales-based company in Athens.
After putting his name on the ballot on the last day of qualifying, McMurray said he began to take a closer look at how his campaign and a possible win for the elected seat would affect his family and business. The time constraints on his personal and professional lives would have been too great, he said.
“I think you need to be independently wealthy or retired or something along those lines to do it,” said McMurray, who said that this was his first time qualifying for public office.
He added that his decision to run for the BOE wasn’t about his opposition to Massey-Wheeler, the incumbent for the District 4 seat and chairman of the school board.
“This was not ‘me against Lynn,’” McMurray said. “I don’t hold any ill-will toward Lynn at all. I don’t really know her. It was more about me serving than it was about me running against Lynn Wheeler.”