Friday, July 31, 2009

School Board Parties and other districts

Johnson County School Races: Parties and More Districts

I expect to be bashed for this, indeed I have been in the past, but I think the party affiliation of candidates for nonpartisan office matters. It's a broad statement about how you see the world. And in Johnson County, where even prominent Republicans cross over to vote in "the real election" Democratic courthouse primaries, being a registered Republican is precisely that: a statement.

The nonpartisan offices are also a farm team for future candidates for partisan jobs. Four of Johnson County's ten legislators were elected to nonpartisan jobs first: Sen. Bob Dvorsky and Rep. Dave Jacoby (Coralville city council), Rep. Larry Marek (ag extension board), and Rep. Jeff Kaufmann (Wilton school board). The recently retired Ro Foege also got his start on a school board.

With that said, here's the details.

  • Democrats: Josh Kaine, Sarah Swisher.
  • Republicans: April Armstrong, Mike Cooper, Jean Jordison.
  • No party: Tuyet Dorau, Anne Johnson, Jeff Manthey.

    The geography may matter just as much here with talk of a North Liberty high school in the mix and with the neighborhoods with older elementaries worried about suffering the fate of Roosevelt.

  • Armstrong: southwest rural (Weber)
  • Cooper: rural North Liberty
  • Dorau: north Coralville
  • Johnson, Manthey: North Liberty
  • Jordison: northeast side
  • Kaine: north side (Mann)
  • Swisher: Longfellow

    Iowa City dodged what looked like a battle of no one, but there will be one all write-in race: no one filed for Clear Creek Amana District 4, the Coralville-North Liberty end of the district. (All CCA voters get to vote, but the candidate has to live in the director district.) Weird write-in races have been known to happen in Clear Creek Amana, so readers, do keep me posted.

    In the District 2 race, Eileen Schmidt challenges incumbent Kathy Zimmerman, and Aimee Pitlick and Barbara Kounkel face off in the at large contest where Dan Schaapveld is stepping down. (Last time he tried to quit, in 2003, he was re-elected as a write-in.)

    Solon has four candidates for three seats and could be hot. Incumbent Laura Reed is not running, and former board member Dick Schwab is attempting a comeback after one year off. Schwab won his last term in 2005 in a close, high turnout contest against David Asprey, who came back to win in 2006 and is running again this year.

    Lianne Westcot, who was appointed to the board last November when Ben Pardini died, is making her first run. Schwab, just two months off the board at the time, applied for the same vacancy. The board initially split 2-2 until Asprey switched his vote (minutes, pdf) from Schwab to Westcot. Gene Lawson rounds out the field.

    Lone Tree is our yawner: three seats, three candidates, three incumbents.

    The whole county, except for the three dozen or so West Liberty voters, will also vote on a Kirkwood levy.
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