The two candidates who are seeking the District 5 seat on the Ridgefield school board have different outlooks on the role of public education, according to their Voters’ Pamphlet statements.
Incumbent Zenia Bringhurst says she participates in and is proud of mentoring and diversity initiatives.
Challenger Chantel Nash believes that politics have become a “key component” of education and that schools need to be an “indoctrination-free environment,” according to her statement in the Voters’ Pamphlet. She also believes schools should play no part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Chantel believes masks, testing and vaccinations are all up to individual families to decide what is best for them and their children,” she posted on her campaign website, adding that Ridgefield’s masking requirement has put “stress and pressure” on students, and that schools should serve as a “sanctuary” from requirements.
This year, she led a small demonstration at Ridgefield High School protesting vaccines.
Bringhurst was appointed to the school board in 2020. She works for a medical device company, and holds a degree in biochemistry from Brigham Young University.
In her Voters’ Pamphlet statement, she said she has worked with Ridgefield High School’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies and mentors BYU’s Women in STEM majors program. She does not appear to have a campaign website.
Neither candidate responded to questionnaires from The Columbian or local groups including LifePac and the SW Washington Education blog. Both candidates have filed as mini-reporters with the state Public Disclosure Commission, which means neither will spend more than $5,000 campaigning or accept more than a $500 donation from any one contributor except themselves.