SALT LAKE CITY — A committee tasked with narrowing down the number of candidates for State School Board has selected 37 to interview for consideration, according to information posted Wednesday on the state's public notice website.
The 37 candidates are whittled down from an original 70 individuals who filed to run for one of seven seats on the school board, although 12 candidates have since withdrawn from consideration.
Interviews are scheduled to take place June 2-3, after which the committee will select 21 names — or 3 names per board seat — to forward to Gov. Gary Herbert, who will then place two names per seat on the November ballot.
The candidates who will advance to the interview portion are:
District 1: Terryl Warner (incumbent), Bryce Day, David Clark and Lydia Nuttal.
District 2: Spencer Stokes, Willard Maughan, Christie Moore and Jana Raw Shaw.
District 3: Michael Jensen (incumbent), Russell Bartholomew, Jared Hammer, Tracy Marz, Linda Hansen, Jeffery Meservy and Garrick Hall.
District 5: Breck England, Amy Hayter, Marlo Oaks, Daniel Rip, Brent Clyde, Mark Bouchard, Ruland Gill and Laura Collier Belnap.
District 6: Dan Griffiths (incumbent), Brittany Cummins, Liz Taylor, Melissa Johnson, Pat Rusk and Alan Kirkwood.
District 9: Heather Groom (incumbent), Joel Wright, Kevin Braddy, Robin Allred and Joylin Lincoln.
After withdrawals, only three candidates remained in District 14 and all will be forwarded to the governor for consideration. Those candidates are Mike Miles, Mark Huntsman and Spencer Kimball.
All incumbent board members seeking re-election were selected by the committee to be interviewed, but there is no requirement that their names be forwarded to the governor or placed on the ballot.
The ability for incumbents to be eliminated from their seats without a vote of their constituents is among the many criticisms frequently cited in opposition to the candidate selection process. Other criticisms include the potential for members of the selection committee to exert influence over the board's makeup by blocking candidates with opposing viewpoints and a growing sentiment that school board elections should be subject to partisan vetting.
Three bills seeking to reform the way State School Board members are elected were introduced during the most recent legislative session, but all three were defeated.