Ned Gallaway, chair and At-large member of the Albemarle County School Board, has announced his candidacy for state Senate.

Gallaway, who is serving his second term on the Board, is seeking the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 17th Senate District. The seat is currently held by Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania).

“I am running for state Senate because it is my belief that investing in the education of our children is our community’s top priority,” Gallaway said in a press release Monday. “Virginia needs to deliver a world class education to our children as they will be the leaders and innovators who will drive the progress of our Commonwealth.”

“We cannot compete in a 21st century economy or attract 21st century jobs to Virginia if we do not have a 21st century workforce,” he added.

In an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow, Gallaway said that he will complete this term on the School Board, but that he will not seek re-election to the School Board.

Gallaway steps into the race after the Democratic nominee Traci Dippert announced April 17 she was withdrawing for “professional and health concerns.”

Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), praised Gallaway’s “deep knowledge and understanding” of educational issues.

“He brings a unique perspective to the Senate, between his private sector experience combined with his doctorate in education,” Deeds said. “He will be a tireless voice for the 17th Senate District, advocating for common sense measures to strengthen education in the Commonwealth.”

Currently the sales manager of BMW Charlottesville, Gallaway holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts and Drama from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education.

Gallaway’s seat is now one of five seats on the school board up for election in November. Board members Jason Buyaki and Steve Koleszar, who represent the Rivanna and Scottsville districts respectively, have both announced their intentions to run.

Last week Barbara Massie Mouly, who represents the White Hall Magisterial District, announced that she will not seek re-election, and Eric Strucko, who represents the Samuel Miller District, resigned his seat to accept a position with Pennsylvania State University.

The Albemarle School Board will meet May 14.