AP NEWS

School boards draw challengers amid budget crisis and layoffs

May 14, 2019

School board races are off to a fast start in Spokane County – especially in Mead, where at least one challenger has promised to make an issue of the district’s recent decision to close two popular programs.

“I’ve decided to run because the current board has exhibited poor judgment, bad financial oversight, and prioritized administration interests above kids’ needs,” said Michael Cannon, who filed for the position held by Dorcas Wylder.

Monday was the first day to file for election in Spokane County. Of the nine positions up for grabs this year in Spokane, Mead and Central Valley, all but one have drawn interest. The filing period ends 4 p.m. Friday.

Wylder spent 14 years with Mead as an administrator. She was appointed to the board in January.

Two other Mead incumbents, Denny Denholm and Bob Olson, have filed for re-election. Olson faces a challenger, John Hatcher.

All three open positions in the Spokane Public School have drawn interest.

The biggest draw came for the seat held by incumbent Deana Brower, who announced last week that she would not seek re-election.

Eric Cultum, Jenny Slagle and Kellilin MacFarlane, filed for Brower’s position. Nikki Lockwood filed for the seat held by Sue Chapin.

Erin Georgen filed for the seat held by Brian Newberry, who was appointed in September.

Two incumbents, Debra Long and Cynthia McMullen, filed in Central Valley.

John Myers is challenging McMullen.