Kwame Spearman seeks Denver school board seat held by Auon’tai Anderson

Kwame Spearman, the former CEO of the Tattered Cover bookstore chain, has announced he’s running for the at-large seat on Denver’s elected school board that’s currently held by Auon’tai Anderson, who is seeking re-election.

Spearman, who unsuccessfully ran for Denver mayor earlier this year, hinted at a possible run for the Board of Education last month when he stepped down from his position with Tattered Cover.

He confirmed he is running in November’s election in an interview with The Denver Post on Friday.

“We’ve got to get our board back on track,” Spearman said. “Right now, what is happening — the infighting and chaos — is leading to negative outcomes for our students.”

Three seats on the seven-member board overseeing Denver Public Schools will open in November. The terms of directors Scott Baldermann, who represents southeast Denver, and Charmaine Lindsay, who represents northwest Denver, are also up in the fall.

Baldermann and Lindsay have not yet announced whether they are seeking another term.

Adam Slutzker, a former elementary school teacher, is running for Lindsay’s seat on the board. He has three children, including two who attend school in DPS.

November’s election comes as DPS, the state’s largest school district, is facing scrutiny over how it handles discipline and school safety following recent shootings at East High School. The district is also closing three schools because of declining enrollment. And the directors have faced criticism for infighting that has consumed the board since last year.

Spearman’s run for the school board comes on the heels of his abandoned bid for mayor. He dropped out of the crowded race in March, before Election Day.

Spearman and two others bought Tattered Cover in 2020. During his time leading the bookstore, Tattered Cover expanded. But there was also controversy, including a third-party investigation into workplace bullying and ageism allegations — both of which Spearman has denied.

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