The organization that represents Lawrence's 900-plus public school teachers announced Friday it has endorsed four candidates running for Lawrence's school board.
Voters will pick four of the eight candidates running in the April 3 general election.
The Lawrence Education Association's four endorsements are: Rich Minder, the only incumbent in the race; Scott Morgan, who sat on the school board from 1999 to 2003; Marlene Merrill, a retired local school administrator who now works for Kansas City, Kan., public schools; and Victor Sisk, a retired music teacher and state schools activities administrator.
The endorsements were based on detailed questionnaires filled out by the candidates, according to Adela Solis, LEA president.
LEA leaders said Minder, Morgan, Merrill and Sisk had set themselves apart by saying they would make classroom instruction their first priority.
Other candidates in the race are: Mary Loveland, a longtime school volunteer and former school board member; Michael Machell, a human resources manager; Michael Pomes, a state environmental scientist; and Robert Rauktis, a retired neuroradiologist.
¢ Four of the eight candidates running in the April 3 Lawrence school board race have received endorsements from the Douglas County Area chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
The chapter endorsed Michael Pomes, Rich Minder, Marlene Merrill and Michael Machell. Lynda Canaday, chapter president, said the endorsements were based on responses they gave in recent forums that were sponsored by the Voter Education Coalition.
"My primary focus is that blind and otherwise disabled children have every opportunity to receive the same quality education as other students without disabilities," Canaday said. "The candidates mentioned here have shown that they, too, wish a bright future for these children."
¢ Three city commission candidates have received the endorsement of a trade organization in the community.
James Bush, Rob Chestnut and Mike Dever have been endorsed by the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 441, Denis Wittman, the business representative for the organization, said in a statement.
The group also has endorsed school board candidate Michael Machell.
The union has not traditionally made public endorsements of candidates, but Wittman said that the organization thought the upcoming election is a "critical election for the future of Lawrence and the working-class citizens."
It is at least the second endorsement that the trio of candidates has received. Bush, Chestnut and Dever also received an endorsement from the Lawrence Board of Realtors before the February primary elections.