Citing the need to bring an understanding of education to its board, David Reaves has thrown his hat in the ring for a 2014 Shelby County commissioner’s seat.
“It’s important for the (new suburban) districts that there is someone on the commission who understand education and funding,” said Reaves, a sitting Shelby County Schools board member who has been an outspoken proponent of community schools.
Reaves, 36, of Bartlett, said he will be trying for a new seat that will be created when the districts that county commissioners now represent are redrawn next year. The commissioners seated now represent fewer districts, with multiple members in each district. But in 2014, the commissioners will represent 13 individual districts, with one representative from each. Each of the seats will be up for re-election in 2014.
That means Reaves would represent a district that is almost exclusively Bartlett and Lakeland. It also means there won’t be an incumbent in that seat, he said.
Also, the term Reaves serves on the school board will expire this time next year. He’s said that he is uncertain that board members who live within newly created school districts – such as Bartlett – will be able to continue to serve on the board. That aided his decision to run, he said.
“It’s kind of the perfect timing,” said Reaves. “I looked at where I thought would be the greatest need, and that’s the Shelby County commission.”
The manager of disaster recovery for FedEx, Reaves moved to Bartlett when he was 12 years old. He graduated from the University of Memphis and is married to his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. Together, they have three kids: ages 12, 9 and 8.
His family was a big factor in his decision to stay local when weighing his next political move. He considered the Tennessee legislature and even a move to the U.S. Congress. But he decided that would take too much time away.
“I can’t do that to my kids right now,” he said. “They’re very excited. They love campaigning.”
As for the issues facing the county right now, Reaves said as a commissioner he would have voted along the lines of commissioner Terry Roland to keep taxes at the certified rate of $4.32. He also said he would push his fellow board members to drop the federal equal protection lawsuit still pending against the six suburbs that recently created school districts.
But mainly, he believes its time for someone to represent the people who live in his district.
“I think I have a pretty good pulse on what the people here want,” said Reaves.