A candidate for Anne Arundel County school board who won a spot on the November ballot despite suspending her campaign said she now plans to continue in her bid.

“I thank everyone who trusted me with their vote in the primary and am humbled to have earned a spot on the ballot for November,” District 1 candidate Sarah Lacey wrote in an email.

Asked for further clarification, she said, “I currently intend to go forward, yes.”

She declined further comment at this time.

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Lacey is set to face District 1 incumbent Gloria D. Dent, who also advanced in Tuesday’s primary. Dent said she had no immediate comment.

According to unofficial primary results, Dent received 33%, followed by Lacey (26%), Hunter J. Voss (22.6%) and Ciera M. Harlee (18.4%).

Anne Arundel County voters on Tuesday narrowed the field of candidates from 19 to 13 for seven seats.

Lacey, an attorney who served one term on the County Council from 2018 to 2022, including a year as its chair, filed to run but said in March that she was pausing her campaign.

“I have just learned that Teachers Association for Anne Arundel County is choosing to endorse another candidate in the District 1 race,” Lacey said at the time. “While I had hoped they would make a different decision, I do not desire to run without their support. Therefore, I am suspending my campaign, effective immediately.”

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Lacey told the Capital Gazette then that she filed on Feb. 1 because, she said, “I was under the impression I might have been the only one filing at that point.”

Dent, the board’s sole Black member, filed days before the deadline for a new term. An Army veteran, businesswoman and community organizer, Dent was appointed in 2021 to serve out the term of the late Candace C.W. Antwine.

“After long thinking about my effectiveness as a board member, I will be running again to represent District 1,” said Dent, of Severn, before filing.

The teachers union endorsed Dent in District 1, as well as Bob Silkworth in District 2, Erica McFarland in District 3, Dana Schallheim in District 5, Joanna Tobin in District 6, and Jeremy York in District 7.

District 1 covers northwestern Anne Arundel County, extending from Jessup to Brooklyn Park..

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Lacey was still on the primary election ballot because she never officially withdrew her candidacy, according to David Garreis, director of the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections.

A candidate must go through the process of declining the nomination. “Until we get that formal piece of paper saying that she [declined nomination], then it’s not official,” Garreis said.

Gareiss said that in some cases, if a declination form isn’t received in time, a candidate may still appear on the ballot.

“Let’s say that we’ve already gone through the process of printing the ballots, then we wouldn’t take her name off,” Garreis said.

Garreis said a candidate has until Aug. 6 to withdraw from the general election.

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Other candidates to advance Tuesday were: McFarland and Chuck Yocum for the open seat in District 3; Sarah J. McDermott and Stephanie Mutchler for the open seat in District 4; and incumbent Schallheim and LaToya Nkongolo in District 5.

With just two contenders each, Districts 6 and 7 did not require a primary. Tobin will seek to stave off a challenge from Edilene Barros in District 6, while York and Dawn Pulliam will square off for the open seat in District 7.

Board President Robert Silkworth, who represents District 2, is unopposed in November.

Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter.

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