With just a few days before Election Day, another candidate has joined the race for the South River District seat on the Warren County School Board.

David Downes, of Front Royal, announced in a news release Thursday he is running for the School Board seat held by Donna McEathron. McEathron is not seeking reelection. Downes’ name is not on the ballot but he is seeking write-in votes.

Downes, 57, stated that he wants the best for the children in Warren County Public Schools.

“I want to devote my skills toward solving problems affecting our schools,” he stated. “I will not hesitate to ask the hard questions when seeking funding for our schools, will expect everyone’s best as we work together to support teachers and administrators and will be insistent on accountability at all levels of our school system.”

Downes noted in the release that a stronger school system will also encourage new families to settle here.

“To me, there is no more important investment in our future than in the education of our children and our neighbor’s children,” he stated.

One of the biggest challenges facing the School Board, Downes stated, is finding a new superintendent to replace outgoing superintendent Greg Drescher — who retires in January. Other challenges are retaining high-quality teachers, improving the quality of education for students and providing a safe and secure educational environment.

“By strengthening our schools, we will increase pride in Warren County,” he stated. “These aspirational goals can be accomplished through hard work, cooperation, transparency, and tenacity. I believe we can accomplish these goals by creating an environment where everyone — the school board, Superintendent, school administrators and staff, our students, and community — work together to strengthen and improve our schools.”

Downes has a bachelor’s degree in communications and sociology from Wake Forest University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Richmond Law. He has a law practice in Front Royal and has practiced law for 32 years. He has served as chairman of the Warren County Red Cross and as a member of the United Way.

“I always seek to make our community better,” he stated in the release.

Downes joins candidate Kristen Pence, of Front Royal, in the race for the open seat.

– Contact Donald Lambert at dlambert@nvdaily.com