Democrats gain 2 seats, Republicans 1 on Hamilton County school board

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / After receiving the results, Ben Connor speaks to family and friends on August 4, 2022. Election Day for State and Federal Primary and State and County General elections was August 4.

Republicans gained one seat and Democrats gained two as the Hamilton County school board on Thursday held its first partisan election and grew to 11 seats from nine as a result of the redistricting process after the 2020 census.

The board currently has five Republicans, three independents and one Democrat. After the election, the makeup will be six Republicans, three Democrats and two independents.

In perhaps one of the most heated races, Democrat Jill Black of Lookout Mountain defeated opponents Virginia Anne Manson, R-Lookout Mountain, and independent Steve McKinney of Chattanooga for the District 11 seat. Black will be the first school board member to represent the brand new district.

"I am incredibly honored and flattered and humbled by the fact that all of the residents at District 11 have put their faith in me to represent their children and their schools on the school board," Black said in a phone call.

She