Loren Lutes feels good about the necessity for a primary election in the race for Oskaloosa school board.
"I think it's healthy," the Oskaloosa superintendent said Wednesday. "We have nine candidates for four positions."
However, so few candidates filed for 37 open school seats in nine districts surrounding Lawrence that just two primaries are scheduled for Feb. 25. They are for board seats in Oskaloosa and Tonganoxie.
Districts without enough candidates for primaries are Baldwin, DeSoto, Eudora, McLouth, Ottawa, Perry-Lecompton and Wellsville.
In the nine districts, 15 candidates are unopposed.
Linda Buttron, Jefferson County clerk, said lack of hot-button issues often led to solitary candidates.
For example, three of four incumbents in Perry-Lecompton have no challenger. In McLouth, two candidates are unopposed.
"We usually don't have a lot of primaries," Buttron said. "Filings have to do with controversy."
|Education candidates¢ Baldwin: Position 1, Alison Bauer, Eugene Kivett; Position 3, Blaine Cone; Position 6, Stacy Cohen; At large, Scott Lauridsen, Curtis Trarbach.¢ DeSoto: Position 1, Rick Walker; Position 2, William Waye; Position 3, Sandra Thierer; At large, Donald Clark Jr., Douglas Weis.¢ Eudora: Mark Chrislip; Marion Johnson; Kenneth Massey; Gregory Neis; Joseph Pyle; Mark Salmans.¢ McLouth: Position 1, Julie Zule, Kimberly Troupe; Position 2, Earnest Folsom II, Bob Smith; Position 3, Dan Evans; At-large, James DePriest.¢ Oskaloosa: Position 1, Ronda Schuler, Lawrence Trowbridge; Position 2, Kenny Metzger, David Tenpenny; Position 3, Daryl Chess, Steve Tufte; At-large, John Metzger, Diane Pruitt, Gary Willits.¢ Ottawa: Jack Bushman, John Coen, Michael Cruver, Dennis George, Louis Reed, Susan Ward, Harold Wingert, Norman Wooge.¢ Perry-Lecompton: Position 1, Donna Bergmann, Scott McPherson; Position 2, Greg Howard; Position 3, Thomas Holyroyd; At-large, Travis Daniels.¢ Tonganoxie: Position 1, Rick Lamb, Joel Stinson, Brian Daily; Position 2, Ron Moore, April Dohle; Position 3, Kris Grinter, Leana Leslie; Position 5, Kay Smith; At-large, Wally Brawner, Richard Dean.¢ Wellsville: Position 1, Jim Snoequist; Position 2, Scott Moore; Position 3, Eldon Evans; At-large, Vickie Bohi, Reta Breithaupt.|
It's possible bleak economic times facing public schools make people reluctant to run for the board, said Mark Chrislip, who is seeking re-election to the Eudora school board.
He said the challenge of putting together a solid budget and completing the district's school construction plans drew him back for another campaign.
"I want to see it through," Chrislip said. "I care a lot about what happens to public education."
He's among four incumbents and two challengers, including Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson, running for four seats on Eudora's board. It would have taken nine candidates to force a primary.
"I'm not sure why more people don't get involved," Chrislip said.
In Oskaloosa, voters have an opportunity to decide which two candidates among John Metzger, Diane Pruitt and Gary Willits advance to the general election for the at-large seat on the board.
The other primary is in Tonganoxie, where Rick Lamb, Joel Stinson and Brian Daily battle for Position 1 on the school board.
In Lawrence, 13 candidates, including three incumbents, entered the school board race. The primary in February will narrow the field to eight.