Yesterday, I wrote a bit about some of the school board races here in Maricopa County; today, the subject is one of the other low-profile races here.
It isn't news (to observers in AZ, anyway) that the governing board of the Gilbert Public Schools District has been taken over by tea party types and what was once one of the few crown jewels of public education in Arizona has been devastated.
With the damage done there, the tea party types have set their sights on a bigger target -
The governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD):
- At-large seat, five candidates for two seats (pending litigation; the board's membership was expanded by the Republicans in the legislature who were looking to make this board more "Republican". The move was so brazen that a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law that created the new seats is winding its way through the court system)
- Augustine Bartning, Republican, ran for LD24 state senate in 2012 (lost). Interesting note: 1000 signatures are required on nominating petitions for this office. He turned in 1074. If his petitions are challenged, that probably isn't enough of a buffer to survive a challenge.
Note: he may not be part of the takeover attempt; in LD24 in 2012, he seemed to be an almost reasonable human being.
Note2: he also may have been toning it down for the audience in a moderate, D-leaning district.
- Mario E. Diaz, Democrat, a well-respected (and well-connected) political consultant
- John Heep, Republican, also running for the Sun City West fire district board
- Tracy Livingston, Republican, wife of hardcore winger state legislator David Livingston
- Eddie Tiggs, don't know much about him
Assuming that the board's expansion survives the court challenge, the candidate receiving the most votes will serve a four-year term while the candidate receiving the second-most votes will serve a two-year term. Future elections will be for four-year terms.
District 3, three candidates for one seat:
- Johanna Haver, whole-hearted RWNJ (pretty much an "English first, last, and only" type; that characterization may be oversimplified a bit, but only a bit)
- Reyes Medrano, Sr., don't know much about him.
- Fred Zook, don't know much about him.
District 4, two candidates for one seat:
- Randolph Lumm, incumbent, and a good one
- Jean McGrath, former legislator and current perennial candidate. Highlight of her legislative stint: she ran a bill that would have barred overnight visits by the opposite sex in the dorms of Arizona's public universities
District 5 (two-year term; the others are four years), two candidates for one seat:
- Rick Eastman, don't know much about him
- Alfredo Gutierrez, noted author and incumbent. Appointed to fill a vacancy.
Normally, I refrain from engaging to too much commentary in posts like this one (this started out as a strictly informative post), but it sure looks like that there is a low-profile but concerted effort to turn the MCCCD governing board into a countywide version of the governing board of the Gilbert school district.
And with the likes of Livingston, Heep (maybe), Bartning (maybe), McGrath, and Haver, they aren't being subtle about it.
General information on the MCCCD board here.