Atlanta school board challengers bring in contributions

Former school board member Mark Riley has raised the most money of any candidate running for the Atlanta Board of Education, bringing in $113,437 in an effort to win his job back from incumbent Reuben McDaniel, according to campaign finance reports.

Riley, a real estate developer, more than doubled the donations received by investment banker and board Chairman McDaniel, whose contributions amounted to $49,444 through Sept. 30. In the same race, attorney Tom Tidwell raised $59,195, and attorney Cynthia Briscoe Brown’s contributions totaled $13,951. A fifth candidate, Dave Walker, didn’t electronically file a campaign disclosure.

Their citywide District 8 campaign is just one of seven contested races for the Atlanta school board, which will undergo a major transformation after the Nov. 5 election because four current board members aren’t seeking re-election. The new school board will be responsible for picking Atlanta’s next superintendent early next year.

Campaign filings through Sept. 30 had to be submitted to the state by midnight Monday.

In another tight race, incumbent Courtney English raised $74,614, compared with challenger Nisha Simama’s $54,912. English, a former social studies teacher, and Simama, a counselor and former interim school board member, are competing for the citywide District 7 seat

In north Atlanta’s District 4, challenger Taryn Chilivis Bowman raised $12,149, slightly more than the $11,970 taken in by incumbent Nancy Meister. Bowman is a film consultant, and Meister is a residential real estate agent.