Patrick Barnett

The field for the special election for the Samuel Miller District seat on the Albemarle County School Board is now one candidate smaller.

According to the county registrar’s office, Patrick Barnett, 48, withdrew from the race Monday.

Barnett, a retired U.S. Army colonel, told Charlottesville Tomorrow in an email that he cannot continue in the race because he has accepted a new job that will require much of his time.

“The demands of getting up to speed in the new job, especially over the first few months, and the additional time necessary to perform to the standard I would like, unfortunately required that I withdraw from the race for School Board,” he said. “I am immensely thankful for the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to meet over the last few months and for their exceptional support of our schools.”

Since announcing his candidacy in May, Barnett, a parent of children at Red Hill Elementary who has served on Albemarle’s Parent Council and on a redistricting committee, had advocated for infrastructure and curriculum parity across the division, and had raised questions about the role of technology in the classroom. 

The special election — to be held Nov. 3, the same day as the general election — will fill the seat originally held by Eric Strucko, who vacated the post to accept a job with Pennsylvania State University. Jon Stokes, who held the seat from 2006 to 2009, is serving in an interim capacity until the election.

The remaining candidates are Brian Vanyo, 39, an intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency who has children at Burley Middle and Cale Elementary; Graham Paige, 69, who taught science in Albemarle County for 24 years and serves on the division’s Long Range Planning Advisory Committee; and Mike Basile, 49, a former president of the Jefferson Area Tea Party.

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