Although four of the seven seats on the Walton County Board of Education are on the ballot this year, only one is contested in next month’s primary, as incumbent David Breedlove defends his District 7 seat against challenger Kristy Balter, a pre-school teacher from Walton County.

Only one of them appeared at the online debate hosted by the Walton County Chamber of Commerce, however. Breedlove appeared in the Zoom meeting May 14 while Balter did not appear despite chamber officials saying they issued her multiple invitations via phone call and email before debate night.

Breedlove has served on the board for 12 years now representing District 7.

“I moved here 23 years ago because I wanted a place to put down roots and this is the best county to do that,” Breedlove said.

Breedlove said there are challenges ahead as the county school district tries to figure out how to move into a post-quarantine environment while still protecting against the coronavirus.

“One of our biggest challenges this year is balancing the budget,” Breedlove said. “We’re seeing a decrease in funding and an increase in student population.”

But Breedlove hopes to see students return to the classroom this fall and vows to work hard, if reelected, to help make that happen.

“We want the kids to feel safe,” Breedlove said.

Stephen Milligan is a staff writer for The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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