72 candidates seek 59 school board seats
PRESCOTT – In the final five minutes before the filing deadline for the county’s school board elections, Congress candidate Brian DeShazo arrived at the Yavapai County Educational Service Agency (YCESA) office where he dropped off his 14 signatures and was qualified to be on the ballot in November.
DeShazo needed only six signatures.
On the last day to become a qualified candidate for the ballot, YCESA elections coordinator Jenn Nelson collected 12 packets of petitions, and fielded phone calls, including one from Barbara Davis, a candidate for the sole seat in the Walnut Grove School District. She collected her one required signature by the deadline.
“We’ve been busy,” Nelson said.
All in all, Nelson qualified 72 of 76 individuals who collected packets and filed committees to run for office. There are a total of 59 seats to be filled; and there will be just nine county elections as those are the only ones with contested seats.
Fifteen of 17 districts have just enough candidates to fill the seats; two districts, Beaver Creek and Kirkland, have more seats than candidates. In Beaver Creek, there are two candidates for three seats and in Kirkland there are three candidates for four seats.
In those districts, write-in candidates can come to the YCESA office to pick up paperwork similar to any other candidate, other than they do not need to collect signatures. If no one comes forward, County Schools Superintendent Tim Carter will advertise for candidates and make an appointment for the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors to consider.
For the uncontested races, the Board of Supervisors again will be asked to appoint the candidates to those seats rather than have an election, saving money for the districts in question.
In the greater Prescott region, the Prescott Unified School District, the Chino Valley Unified School District and the Mayer Unified School Districts will all have elections; Humboldt Unified School District will not because only three candidates exist – incumbents President Brian Letendre and Richard Adler and candidate Paul Ruwald.
For PUSD, incumbents Chairman Scott Hicks, Tina Seeley and John Mackin will be running against candidates David Jaeger and David Klever for three seats. Mary Ann Suttles of Prescott took out a packet at the beginning of the election season, but did not go any further.
In Chino Valley, incumbent President Peter Atonna and Sherry Brown will campaign with candidates Robert Bowen and Annie Mortensen for three seats. Appointed incumbent Daniel Chacon opted not to seek re-election.
Yavapai College will also have an election as there are two candidates for one seat – incumbent Deb McCasland challenged by Walter Nagy.
In Mayer, there are three candidates – incumbent President Mark Mathern and incumbent Rita Russell and Nick Colquitt – campaigning for two seats.
Anyone who has any questions related to the school election process can contact Nelson at the YCESA office at 928-442-5138.