Diane Eyers

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Diane Eyers
Diane Eyers.jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Janesville Board of Education, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 1, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Diane Eyers was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Janesville Board of Education in Wisconsin. She filed to run in the general election on April 7, 2015, however she was removed from the ballot on January 13, 2015, due to insufficient information on her nomination papers.[1] In late February 2015, Eyers withdrew from the race.[2]

Eyers ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2013 and 2014.


Eyers is an accountant with Schwartz and Shea Insurance. She has a child currently attending a district school.[3]



See also: Janesville School District elections (2015)


The general election on April 7, 2015, in Janesville School District featured three at-large seats up for election. Incumbent Greg Ardrey sought re-election against challenger Carla Quirk. Incumbent David DiStefano and challenger Diane Eyers were removed from the ballot in January 2015, due to insufficient information on their nomination papers. The third seat was filled by write-in candidate and retired district employee Steve Huth. DiStefano and receptionist also Julieta Henry ran as write-in candidates but were unsuccessful.


Janesville School District,
At-Large General Election, 3-year term, 2015
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGreg Ardrey Incumbent 45.2% 5,988
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCarla Quirk 29.2% 3,873
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Huth (write-in) 13.1% 1,733
     Nonpartisan David DiStefano (write-in) Incumbent 8.7% 1,148
     Nonpartisan Julieta Henry (write-in) 3.8% 510
Total Votes 13,252
Source: GazetteXtra, "Ardrey, Quirk elected to Janesville School Board; Huth leading among write-ins," April 7, 2015 These election results are not official and will be updated when certified results are available. You can submit certified results by contacting us.


Candidates were only required to file campaign finance reports if they did one of the following:

  • accepted contributions, made disbursements or incurred obligations in an aggregate amount of more than $1,000 in a calendar year
  • accepted more than $100 from a single source in the calendar year, except contributions made by candidates to their own campaigns


Eyers did not receive any official endorsements in this election.


See also: Janesville School District elections (2014)


Diane Eyers ran against incumbents Kevin Murray and Bill Sodemann as well as challengers Fred Jackson and Dale Thompson in the general election on April 1, 2014.


Janesville School District, At-Large General Election, 3-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Murray Incumbent 29% 4,360
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDale Thompson 20.3% 3,051
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBill Sodemann Incumbent 17.4% 2,612
     Nonpartisan Diane Eyers 17% 2,554
     Nonpartisan Fred Jackson 16.3% 2,448
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 29
Total Votes 15,054
Source: Rock County Clerk, "2014 Spring General Election," April 1, 2014


Eyers was exempted from filing a pre-election campaign finance report to the school district clerk by the March 24 deadline.[4] State law allows candidates to claim exempt status from campaign finance reporting if contributions and expenditures do not exceed $1,000 during a calendar year.[5]


Eyers received the endorsement of The Gazette in the April 1 general election.[6]


Janesville School District, At-Large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCathy Myers 21.5% 4,018
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKristin Hesselbacher 17.9% 3,338
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKarl Dommershausen 17.7% 3,313
     Nonpartisan Diane Eyers 17.2% 3,220
     Nonpartisan Peter D. Severson 16.6% 3,096
     Nonpartisan Fred Jackson 8.9% 1,659
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 31
Total Votes 18,675
Source: Rock County Clerk, "2013 Spring Nonpartisan," accessed January 28, 2014

Campaign themes


In an interview with The Gazette, Eyers expressed her campaign themes for 2014:

Class size

The teacher is trying to educate 24 kids as best she can, and it's tough. If we want our teachers to perform, we have to make sure we give them the tools. [7]

GazetteXtra (2014) [3]

Divide between teachers, administrators

I can talk to teachers every day, and that's the first thing you hear: No. 1, they're scared to say anything, and No. 2, they don't feel they're getting enough support. [7]

GazetteXtra (2014) [3]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

Insufficient nomination papers

On January 13, 2015, it was reported by the GazetteXtra that incumbent David DiStefano and challenger Diane Eyers were removed from the ballot. Dennis Hughes, an AFSCME Council 40 staff member, filed the challenges that resulted in the removal. He said in a written statement, "The nomination process is a competency test for candidates, and both Diane Eyers and David DiStefano failed their test, so they have no business representing the interests of students, parents and employees of the School District of Janesville."[8]

According to the GazetteXtra report, Eyers' nomination papers were deemed insufficient because only three of the signatures on the papers had a printed name next to them. DiStefano's papers were denied because the header information on one of his nomination papers did not include an election date. With those papers removed, both candidates failed to meet the minimum of 100 signatures necessary to file.[1][9] Eyers and DiStefano had 10 days to appeal the decision with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which resulted in both DiStefano and Eyers filing appeals.[10]

On February 6, 2015, the GAB announced that the appeals had been denied, and the decision to remove them from the ballot still stands. The third seat was filled by the write-in candidate with the most votes.[11]

In late February 2015, DiStefano announced that he was running as a write-in candidate, while Eyers withdrew from the race. Eyers stated that removing herself from the election "will give the voters only two choices on April 7 for write-in candidates" which she feels is ultimately in the best interest of the district. She said she is open to a possible Spring 2016 campaign. Retired Janesville School District employee Steve Huth and receptionist Julieta Henry joined DiStefano as write-in candidates.[2]

Incumbent Greg Ardrey and newcomer Carla Quirk remained on the ballot.

Lawsuit filed by AFSCME representative Dennis Hughes

After spending $65,755 in election-related legal fees, Janesville School District faced a lawsuit filed by labor union representative, Dennis Hughes. The lawsuit came after Hughes alleged that Superintendent Karen Schulte refused to comply with parts of an open records request that was filed on January 16, 2015. Hughes is petitioning for a writ of mandamus that asks the courts to demand the district release the requested documents as well as punitive damages and costs, actual damages and attorney's fees. In a written statement, Hughes said that "the district has already spent thousands of dollars unnecessarily to limit the public's access to information and to initiate frivolous legal actions" and "the superintendent's wasteful spending and obstruction of justice must end." Schulte hired the district's law firm, Nowlan & Mouat, to defend her. Schulte has been advised by her attorney not to speak about the lawsuit, but said it will incur more costs that "are not necessary as far as I'm concerned."

According to documents obtained by GazetteXtra, the existing $65,755 comes from $11,124 to respond to open records requests, $38,076.80 for election issues and $16,555.50 to defend the district against Hughes. In addition, Assistant Board Clerk Deb Blazer initially filed a temporary restraining order against Hughes on January 21, 2015, though it was dropped on February 9.

A court date for the lawsuit has not yet been set. In it, Hughes is seeking verification of the following allegations, according to GazetteXtra:

— Schulte directed Blazer to add information to DiStefano's nomination papers.

— Schulte directed Sodemann to submit multiple retaliatory public records requests.

— DiStefano was not in the United States on Jan. 9 when Jensen notarized an affidavit signed by DiStefano regarding his nomination papers.

— Schulte knew or should have known the affidavit signed by DiStefano could not have been signed in Rock County as attested to by Jensen.

— Schulte willfully and intentionally permitted the affidavit to be filed to alter the ballot.[7]

—GazetteXtra's website, (2015)[12]

Quirk's hit-and-run conspiracy

On the morning of March 1, 2015, Carla Quirk contacted Janesville police to report a hit-and-run that allegedly happened earlier that day at Woodman's, a grocery store near her home. Quirk claimed her car had been struck by someone at the store. The responding officer reviewed the store's surveillance footage and found that no vehicle was anywhere near Quirk's that day at Woodman's. Investigators subsequently arrived at her home and noticed another damaged vehicle on the street outside Quirk's residence. Quirk initially denied having any knowledge about the vehicle's damage, but when investigators warned they could match the parts, Quirk confessed to hitting the car before she left for the store. She was issued a citation for hit-and-run and for driving too fast for conditions. Following an interview with WISC-TV on March 26, 2015, Quirk said she has hired her campaign treasurer to be her attorney and fight the charges. She claimed in the interview that the incident was part of ongoing bullying attempting to prevent her from running for the Janesville board. The allegations have so far been unsubstantiated.[13]

Request for information on Quirk, claims of partisanship

In January 2015, board member Bill Sodemann made an open records request on candidate Carla Quirk, which included time cards, a description of her job duties and access to her email. In that request, Sodemann also named 17 people of interest who may have communicated with Quirk during work hours. Quirk is an administrative assistant for Rock County General Services at the Rock County Courthouse, and some assume that the request is to make sure Quirk was not campaigning on work time. If that were true, it could potentially introduce partisanship into the election. Sodemann says he filed the request to make sure "nothing is out of the ordinary." According to Quirk, she has done nothing on government time to elicit the request.

The Rock County Clerk's website states that the records must be dispensed "as soon as practicable and without delay." If the request is denied, Sodemann will receive a response about the decision in writing.[14]

About the district

See also: Janesville School District, Wisconsin
Janesville School District is located in Rock County, Wis.

Janesville School District is located in southern Wisconsin in Rock County. The county seat is Janesville. In 2013, Rock County was home to approximately 160,739 residents according to estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[15] During the 2011-2012 school year, Janesville School District was the ninth-largest school district in Wisconsin and served 10,352 students.[16]


Rock County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 19.5 percent of Rock County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.4 percent for Wisconsin as a whole. Between 2008 and 2012, the median household income in Rock County was $50,316. During that same time period, the median household income for the entire state was $52,627. The poverty rate in Rock County was 13.5 percent from 2008 to 2012, compared to 12.5 percent statewide.[15]

Racial Demographics, 2013[15]
Race Rock County (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 91.0 88.1
Black or African American 5.1 6.5
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 1.1
Asian 1.1 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.0
Two or More Races 2.1 1.7
Hispanic or Latino 8.0 6.3

Presidential Voting Pattern,
Rock County[17]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 60.9 37.8
2008 63.8 34.5
2004 58.3 41.1
2000 57.4 39.0

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[18][19]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 GazetteXtra, "DiStefano, Eyers nomination papers rejected for Janesville School Board ballot," January 13, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 GazetteXtra, "Retired Janesville School District employee Steve Huth running as school board write-in, Diane Eyers withdraws," February 24, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 GazetteXtra, "Five in the running for three Janesville School Board seats," January 8, 2014
  4. Information submitted through email from Debra Blazer on March 25, 2014.
  5. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Campaign Finance Overview: Local Candidates," May 2010
  6. GazetteXtra, "Our Views: Kevin Murray, Bill Sodemann, Diane Eyers earn nods for Janesville School Board," March 30, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. GazetteXtra, "Janesville School Board candidates off the ballot," February 6, 2015
  9. WCLO, "Two Janesville School Board candidates have names removed from ballot," January 13, 2015
  10. WCLO, "School board candidates file elections appeal," accessed January 26, 2015
  11. GazetteXtra, "Janesville School Board candidates off the ballot," February 6, 2015
  12. GazetteXtra, "Janesville School District spent more than $65,000 in election-related legal fees," March 27, 2015
  13. Media Trackers, "School Board Candidate Claims Conspiracy in Hit-And-Run She Caused," March 27, 2015
  14. GazetteXtra, "Names from records request voice disapproval at Janesville School Board meeting," January 28, 2015
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 United States Census Bureau, "Rock County, Wisconsin," accessed September 10, 2014
  16. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed January 27, 2014
  17. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Wisconsin Election Results," accessed January 28, 2014
  18. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  19. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.