UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — A Utica native has announced his candidacy for one of the two open seats on the Utica School Board.

Jason Cooper, a lifelong resident of the city and Proctor High School graduate, has announced he is running for one of the seats. So far, Cooper is the only person to announce his candidacy since the Utica School Board gave notice of the elections on February 28.

One of the elected candidates would be replacing outgoing Board Member Robert Cardillo, who is stepping down to run for Mayor of Utica.

Cooper established his platform on enhancing school safety and security, as well as equal access to resources and support for all students. He is also advocating for transparency on the school board, planning to work closely with administrators to make sure that parents have access to the information they need.

Currently, the Utica School Board oversees Proctor High School, two middle schools (Donovan and JFK Middle School) and ten elementary schools.

The Utica School Board Elections are set for Tuesday, May 16.