HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Nine people have been nominated to serve as the Mechanicsville District representative on Hanover County’s School Board.

Hanover residents shared their nominees or nominated themselves for the school board seat at the county’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday. The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the appointment on May 25.

“I’m amazed at how many people have stepped up with a willingness to serve and this is a very important job that people are, all of these people are looking at this as service, I’m sure,” W. Canova Peterson, the Mechanicsville District Supervisor, said Wednesday before the nominees were named.

The candidates, who must live within the district, include the incumbent Sterling Daniel, Sarah G. Butler, Chris Cray, Paul Heizer, Ryan M. Hudson, Ryan Martin, Jerry E. McCormick Jr., Johnny Redd and Kimberly Thurston.

Daniel was picked as the Mechanicsville representative on the school board in 2020 after Roger Bourassa, the board’s chairman who was serving the district, resigned in December 2019. Bourassa cited personal reasons when he left the seat nearly two years before his term was set to end.

“I have no interest in driving a particular ideology,” Daniel said at Wednesday’s meeting. “I’m just here to serve the students.”

Other nominees spoke during the meeting, sharing their backgrounds, experience and views on how they feel they could help the school board moving forward.

“We find ourselves at a pivotal time in the life of our community. Hanover County has become ground zero for national policy,” Hudson said after being nominated and endorsed by other speakers. “Like school districts across the nation and particularly the commonwealth, the sovereignty of the parent is front and center.”

A few speakers called for the nominee to work for “all students,” pointing to recent headlines surrounding the school board’s actions concerning transgender students.

The Hanover School Board did not adopt policies, as Virginia school divisions were required to under legislation passed by the state legislature, allowing students to use bathrooms and school facilities aligning with their gender identity.

The board, which is being sued by parents of transgender students for the decision, also voted to allow Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based group that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an “anti-LGBTQ” hate group, to review the county’s school district’s policy.

“It’s become clear over the past several months that we currently have several school board members who are openly anti-trans and therefore refusing to adopt state-mandated policies that would support transgender childrens’ safety in school,” Kelly Merrill, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said Wednesday.

“Some of the candidates here today or their supporters have egged on our anti-trans school board members, both privately and publicly. And I trust you know who they are,” Merrill continued.

Peterson plans to speak with all of the candidates before selecting an appointee for the board to vote on. The term for the Mechanicsville school board member starts July 1.