Incumbents dominate school board elections in Alaska, Wisconsin

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April 2, 2014

By Nick Katers

Voters showed support for incumbent board members over challengers in Tuesday's school board elections in Anchorage, Alaska and 11 districts in Wisconsin. Incumbents Pat Higgins and Kameron Perez-Verdia won new terms in Seats C and D on the Anchorage School Board. Incumbents serving in Wisconsin's largest school districts fared well with a 83.3 percent success rate in six competitive elections. A total of 13 incumbents were returned to board seats after unopposed elections in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Sheboygan and Waukesha. The most notable exception to the power of incumbency in this round of elections took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Spotlight: Kenosha Unified School District

Voters in Kenosha Unified School District opted for new faces on the school board this spring. The February 18 primary ousted incumbent Robert Nuzzo and board member Jo Ann Taube placed last in the April 1 general election. Gary J. Kunich and Dan Wade prevailed in a contentious election that attracted the attention of outside groups including Americans for Prosperity and the Greater Wisconsin Committee. Kunich ($6,498) and Wade ($5,776) received more contributions by the March 24 pre-election reporting deadline than Taube ($3,720) and challenger Mike Falkofske ($2,759).[1] The new board members will deal with the selection of a new superintendent, concerns about academic performance and an ongoing lawsuit regarding the board's contract negotiations with teachers in 2013.[2][3]


Note: An (i) next to a candidate's name indicates incumbent status.


Anchorage School District
Seat C
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Pat Higgins (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Dean Williams
UncheckedBox.jpg Liz Ross

Seat D
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kameron Perez-Verdia (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Don Smith


Appleton Area School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Sharon Fenlon (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Diane Barkmeier (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Barry O'Connor
UncheckedBox.jpg John DeVantier

Eau Claire Area School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Trish Cummins (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Charles Vue

Green Bay Area Public School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Katie Maloney (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Michael Blecha (i)

Janesville School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kevin Murray (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Bill Sodemann (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dale Thompson
UncheckedBox.jpg Diane Eyers
UncheckedBox.jpg Fred Jackson

Kenosha Unified School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Gary J. Kunich
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dan Wade
UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Falkofske
UncheckedBox.jpg Jo Ann Taube (i)

Madison Metropolitan School District
Seat 6
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Michael Flores
UncheckedBox.jpg Wayne Strong

Seat 7
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Ed Hughes (i)

Oshkosh Area School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Barbara Herzog (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Allison Garner (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg John Lemberger (i)

Racine Unified School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Melvin Hargrove (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dennis Wiser (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Pamala Handrow (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Wally Rendón (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Henry Perez
UncheckedBox.jpg Jacqueline Pinager
UncheckedBox.jpg Thomas Fineran

Sheboygan Area School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg David Gallianetti (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jennifer Pothast (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Larry Samet (i)

Waukesha School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Barbara Brzenk (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Joseph Como Jr. (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Karin Rajnicek (i)

West Allis-West Milwaukee School District
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dan Bailey (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Gail Radonski (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Diane Narlock
UncheckedBox.jpg Kristi Bonaparte (i)

See also