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Ideologically speaking, Tyson Singletary is a committed Democrat.

But on the local level, the 43-year-old York City resident said he'd like to have some more options — especially when it comes to choosing the people who will lead the academically and financially struggling York City School District into the future.

Earlier this year, the state abandoned a plan to seize control of the district and convert it to charter schools. Officials are working to develop a new strategy.

"I'm just looking for a new voice and a different direction," Singletary said.

On Tuesday's primary ballot, Singletary and other York City Democrats saw the names of five people vying for the five four-year terms on the district's school board.

Four of the candidates are incumbents, and the fifth was appointed in March to serve a vacated seat.

There were no candidates on the ballot for a sixth spot, a two-year term.

Unless someone executed a successful write-in campaign Tuesday, York City residents will see the following names on the ballot in November: Diane Glover Brown, Michael Breeland, James Sawor, Michael Miller and Lois Garnett.

Minor parties do not hold primaries, so their candidates have more time to file paperwork to appear on the November ballot. Write-in candidates of any party can also make a bid for a spot.

Republicans like Larry Updegrove had zero options on Tuesday's primary ballot.

Updegrove, 77, said he's lived in the city for 45 years and he knows he's in the minority among his neighbors as a Republican.

But, given the school district's struggles, Republicans "need to try to run for those positions," Updegrove said.

Karen Phillips-Spriggs, 66, said she didn't know much about the candidates this round. But, she always votes to make sure her voice is heard.

As for the school board, Phillips-Spriggs said she'd like to support candidates who will move beyond finger-pointing and toward effective oversight.

"Try to step out and do something different," she said.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.

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