Andrew Cole challenges Brad Wheeler in Post 7 Cobb school board race

Andrew Cole speaking at a standup microphone

Andrew Cole announced his Post 7 school board candidacy at Thursday’s town hall. (Photo: Rebecca Gaunt)

by Rebecca Gaunt

Democrat Andrew Cole announced his candidacy for Post 7 on the Cobb County Board of Education Thursday at the McEachern school safety town hall.

Republican Brad Wheeler announced his bid for a third term earlier in the week.

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The newly redrawn Post 7 includes McEachern, Hillgrove, and Harrison High Schools.

Wheeler was present at the town hall when Cole announced his candidacy, but left shortly after.

Cole is a regular presence at Cobb County school board meetings and frequently engages in public comment with critical remarks aimed at the superintendent and Republican majority.

He did not hold back during his announcement either, criticizing the district for characterizing a campus shooting as a political issue by not allowing the first town hall to be held in a school facility.

“Everything gets routinely shot down. You can’t even bring something in front of the people of Cobb County unless 4-3 say that it can go live. So nothing useful or new can even be proposed or discussed in front of the public, so it all gets killed in a backroom allegiance,” he said.

4-3 is a reference to the fact that school board votes frequently fall along party lines, with the four Republican members holding the majority.

Cole also criticized Wheeler for his actions regarding the Joseph E. Wheeler High School Name Change Committee, which consists of students seeking to rename the school. It was named for the Confederate general in 1964 during integration efforts. There is no relation between the two Wheelers.

As board chair, Wheeler recommended the students put together a presentation, then dissolved the committee with little notice, a move Cole alleged was because he had just been re-elected.

Cole is a graduate of Cobb County schools and has a child about to start elementary school.

Wheeler had not responded to a request for comment as of publication.

For more information on Wheeler, click here.

For more information on Cole, click here.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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