Higley, Chandler district board positions competitive; Gilbert council candidate also seeks community college board seat

Local elections
The November ballot for nonpartisan seats is taking shape. (Community Impact staff)

The November ballot for nonpartisan seats is taking shape. (Community Impact staff)

Higley USD and Chandler USD will have competitive races for governing board seats in November.

Though the deadline to challenge petitions has not passed, the slate of candidates for nonpartisan seats in the November general election is largely set.

Both Higley and Chandler USD have three open seats. Higley USD has five candidates for the seats and Chandler four, while only the three incumbents on Gilbert Public Schools have filed to run for their seats.

Additionally, Laurin Hendrix, a candidate for the two-year council seat in Gilbert’s town election in August, has filed to run for re-election to the Maricopa County Community College District’s governing board seat for District 1.

In an email, Hendrix said he would serve in both positions if elected to both positions.

“Numerous elected officials across the state serve on school boards in addition to their other elected positions,” Hendrix wrote. “Many times, the positions complement each other. School board positions are part-time volunteer positions, usually requiring limited time commitments. They set general policy direction for the school district administrations but board members should not be involved in day-to-day activities in the district.”

Megan Gilbertson, communications officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department, said several state Legislators also serve on school boards, and state law allows for it.

However, the state prohibits citizens from holding two paid elected positions. School board positions and the community college district positions are unpaid.

Hendrix is being challenged for the District 1 seat by Jacqueline Smith. Incumbent Bill Spence opposes him for the two-year term on Town Council.

Higley USD

In the Higley USD, Board Member Scott Glover qualified for the ballot but then announced on social media two days later that he was withdrawing from the race.

“Most of the things I wanted to accomplish when I first endeavored to run, have come to pass,” Glover wrote. “So, after much reflection, I think I’ve done all I can for Higley and it’s time for me to focus on other things in my life and other ways I can help promote the importance and promise of American public education.”

Board Vice President Kristina Reese and member Greg Wojtovich have filed to run again.

Michelle Anderson, a former employee of the district who ran for a board position in 2014 and lost, is one of three newcomers running for a seat.

The others are district parents Michelle Bugg and Tiffany Shultz.

Chandler USD

Chander USD similarly will have two incumbents running for re-election: David Evans and President Barb Mozdzen.

Board Member Karen McGee has chosen not to run again.

"For personal and family reasons I have chosen not to run in this election cycle," McGee said. "I am pleased to see there are some qualified candidates on the ballot for the CUSD Governing Board, and I’m sure if elected they will carry on the mission of our outstanding school district."

Retired District Chief Financial Officer Joel Wirth is also a candidate. The stadium at the district’s Casteel High School is named after Wirth.

CUSD parent Jason Olive also is running for a seat.

Gilbert Public Schools

The three candidates for three seats on the Gilbert Public Schools governing board are incumbents: Lori Wood, Sheila Uggetti Rogers and Reed Carr.

All three are seeking a second term.

Other candidates:

Gilbert County Island Fire District

Cindy Biggs (I)

Carlos M. Mejia (I)

East Valley Institute of Technology Board

District 6

David Lane (I)

District 8

Frank Lamar Watkins (I)

Maricopa County Community College District

At large

Shelli Richardson Boggs

Linda M. Thor (I)

District 2

Susan Bitter Smith

Maricopa County Special Healthcare District

District 1

John B. Farnsworth

Mary A. Harden (I)

District 2

Mark G. Dewane (I)

I = Incumbent
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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