The races for the governing boards of the various school districts in Maricopa County are set*.
* = Pending challenges, write in candidacies, and election cancellations due to an insufficient number of candidates.
There are 182 candidates running for 146 seats, meaning that there are some uncontested, and soon to be cancelled, races.
As the races are putatively non-partisan, there is no primary. What races there are will be decided in November's general election.
Historically, school board seats are low profile, attracting mostly candidates that are interested in local schools.
However, there are a few folks who also know that winning and keeping a school board seat gives them the kind of grass roots/neighborhood exposure that stands them in good stead when seeking higher office. (Note: Many of the folks who hold, or hold aspirations to, higher office also choose school board work because they truly care about their local communities; there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of some of the practical political benefits of the job while trying to do some good works.)
Folks such as -
- Lydia Hernandez, state legislator, one of three candidates running for two seats up for election on the Cartwright Elementary District board
- Ron Bellus, well-connected R (former press secretary for Evan Mecham, former GM of Arizona Capitol Television [the AZ lege's version of C-SPAN], and current director of broadcast services for the AZ Corporation Commission), one of five candidates for two seats on the massively troubled Gilbert Unified governing board
- Patty Kennedy, candidate for LD20 state senate, one of three candidates running for two seats up for election on the Glendale Unified HS board
- Martin Quezada, state legislator, one of three candidates for three seats on the Pendergast Elementary District board
- Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Council member, one of six candidates for five seats on the Phoenix Union HS board (note: that board is divided into "wards", and she is the only candidate for her ward's seat)
- Judah Nativio, former candidate for the legislature, one of three candidates for three seats on the Queen Creek Unified board
- Brandon Schmoll, current constable in the Kyrene Justice Precinct, one of five candidates for two seats on the Tempe Union HS board
- Hernandez, Kennedy, Quezada, Pastor, and Nativio are incumbents.
- Hernandez and Quezada may be running for different school boards, but they are both also running for the same legislative office: LD29 state senate
- Districts with fewer candidates than seats up for election -
Aguila Elementary - 1 candidate, 3 openings
Avondale Elementary - 1 candidate, 3 openings
Buckeye Union HS - 1 candidate, 2 openings
Laveen Elementary - 2 candidates, 3 openings
Littleton Elementary - 2 candidates, 3 openings
Madison Elementary - 2 candidates, 3 openings
Morristown Elementary - 1 candidate, 2 openings
Paloma Elementary - 0 candidates, 3 openings
Saddle Mountain Unified - 2 candidates, 3 openings
Sentinel Elementary - 0 candidates, 2 openings
Union Elementary - 1 candidate, 3 openings
West-MEC (districts) - 4 candidates, 6 openings
In the cases where no candidate declares for a seat (and write ins are still possible, so the above list is NOT final), the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, Don Covey, can appoint someone to fill the seat.
- The full list of seats up for election, as well as the full list of candidates, can be found on this page.