McElrath graduated of Winston-Salem State University and holds a master's degree in education administration. He received a master teacher certificate from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He has worked in CMS for more than 35 years, teaching math, shop and drama, and coaching. McElrath and his wife Jacqueline have two children who are graduates of CMS schools and two grandchildren enrolled in CMS.
McElrath ran for the District 2 seat on the school board on November 5, 2013 against Thelma Byers-Bailey.
McElrath lost the general election on November 5, 2013.
|Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools General Election, District 2, 4-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Richard McElrath Incumbent||29.2%||3,515|
|Source: Mecklenburg County, "Election Results," accessed December 14, 2013|
McElrath reported no contributions or expenditures to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, which left his campaign with $22.19 on hand from his previous campaigns.
McElrath did not received any official endorsements for his campaign.
|Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools General Election, 4-year term, District 2, 2009|
|Source: "Mecklenburg County Board of Elections," "Municipal Election November 3, 2009," accessed September 11, 2013|
What was at stake?
McElrath's District 2 seat was at stake as well as the financial security of the district. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools experienced budget difficulties in recent years and the board had recently developed a school bond plan to reopen and expand current schools after closing some in 2010.
About the district
The county outperforms with the state averages in education and median household income. According to the 2010 Census, the percentage of residents with a high school degree (88.6%) is higher than the state of North Carolina (84.1%) and the percentage of residents over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher is higher in Mecklenburg County (40.4%) compared to the state overall (26.5%). The median household income in Mecklenburg County is $55,994 compared to North Carolina's statewide median of $46,291.
- "CMS Board of Education," "Richard McElrath, Sr," accessed September 12, 2013
- "Mecklenburg County Board of Elections," "Mecklenburg County Campaign Finance Reports," accessed December 23, 2013
- "2010 Census: Quick Facts," "Orange County," accessed September 5, 2013"
- The New York TImes, "Election Results," accessed September 5, 2013