Janesville School District elections (2014)

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2014 Janesville School District Elections

General Election date:
April 1, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Janesville School District
Rock County, Wisconsin ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Wisconsin
Flag of Wisconsin.png

Three seats on the Janesville Board of Education were up for general election on April 1, 2014. Incumbents Kevin Murray and Bill Sodemann and Dale Thompson won election to the board against Diane Eyers and Fred Jackson.

About the district

See also: Janesville School District, Wisconsin
Janesville School District is located in Janesville, Wisconsin
Janesville School District is located in Janesville, Wisconsin, which is the county seat of Rock County. According to the United States Census Bureau, Janesville is home to 63,588 residents.[1] Janesville School District is the ninth-largest school district in Wisconsin, serving 10,352 students during the 201-2012 school year.[2]


Janesville underperformed in comparison to the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 21.5% of Janesville residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.4% for Wisconsin as a whole. The median household income in Janesville was $49,084 compared to $52,627 for the state of Wisconsin. The poverty rate in Janesville was 14.1% compared to 12.5% for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2010[1]
Race Janesville (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 91.7 86.2
Black or African American 2.6 6.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 1.0
Asian 1.3 2.3
Two or More Races 2.1 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 5.4 5.9

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[3]
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.[4][5]

Method of board member selection

The Janesville Board of Education consists of nine members elected at-large to three-year terms. There was no primary election and the general election was held on April 1, 2014. Three seats will be up for election in 2015 and three seats will be on the ballot in 2016.[6]

Candidates for the Board of Education must be 18 years old, citizens of the United States and residents of the district at least 10 days before the election. Each candidate submitted at least 100 valid signatures to the Rock County Clerk by January 7, 2014.[7]




  • Diane Eyers
    • Accountant, Schwartz and Shea Insurance
  • Fred Jackson
    • Analyst, Eaton Corporation
  • Kevin Murray Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Blackhawk Technical College
    • Retired firefighter
    • Veteran, U.S. Air Force
  • Bill Sodemann Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    • Owner, Phones Plus
  • Dale Thompson Green check mark transparent.png
    • Retired director, Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board

Election results

Janesville School District, At-large General Election, 3-year term, April 1, 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


Diane Eyers, Kevin Murray and Bill Sodemann earned the endorsement of The Gazette for the April 1 general election.[8]

Campaign finance

No candidates filed pre-election campaign finance reports to the school district clerk by the March 24 deadline. All candidates were exempt from state reporting requirements.[9] 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.[10]

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

March 4 candidate forum

The League of Women Voters and the Janesville Area Council PTA hosted a candidate forum on March 4. Every candidate except Fred Jackson attended the forum. Incumbents Kevin Murray and Bill Sodemann argued for their re-election bids based on recent progress achieved by the board. Murray believes that the district must retain experienced teachers in order to improve academic performance. Sodemann decided to seek re-election to promote Journey to Excellence, an initiative that uses results in the classroom to assess employee performance.[11]

Challengers Diane Eyers and Dale Thompson emphasized the need for greater communication between district officials, teachers and parents. Eyers suggested that the district has to improve communications with the public regarding new policies. Thompson believed that teachers should be more involved in policy development rather than waiting for policies from the board. He also argued that the state legislature needs to provide more time for the district to meet Common Core curriculum standards.[11]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Janesville School District election in 2014:[12][7]

Deadline Event
December 1, 2013 First day to circulate nominating petitions
January 7, 2014 Last day to submit nominating petitions to county clerk
March 24, 2014 Last day to file pre-election campaign finance report
April 1, 2014 Election day
July 21, 2014 Last day to file continuing campaign finance report

Additional elections on the ballot

The Board of Education election shared the ballot with other local and county races. Residents of Janesville voted for three seats on the City Council. The ballot included seats on the Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Circuit Court. Voters also chose 29 members of the Rock County Board of Supervisors.[13]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Janesville School District News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 United States Census Bureau, "Janesville, Wisconsin," accessed January 28, 2014
  2. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed January 27, 2014
  3. Government Accountability Board, "Wisconsin Election Results," accessed January 28, 2014
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. 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.
  6. Janesville School District, "Board of Education Members," accessed January 28, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Ballot Access Checklist," accessed January 24, 2014
  8. GazetteXtra, "Our Views: Kevin Murray, Bill Sodemann, Diane Eyers earn nods for Janesville School Board," March 30, 2014
  9. Information submitted through email from Debra Blazer on March 25, 2014.
  10. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Campaign Finance Overview: Local Candidates," May 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Nick Crow, GazetteXtra," "Janesville School Board candidates tackle issues during forum," March 5, 2014
  12. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Campaign Finance Checklist," accessed January 24, 2014
  13. Rock County Clerk, "Election Information," accessed January 28, 2014