Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. Friday named his picks for State Board of Education candidates, sans two current board members.

The candidates' names have been sent to the lieutenant governor's office to be included on the November ballot.

"These men and women were chosen from an extremely well-qualified group of individuals," Huntsman said. "I am confident that each of these candidates would serve as exceptional board members, and I wish them the best in the upcoming election."

But some members of the education community are still reeling after a nominating committee, charged with narrowing the list of candidates running for the posts, did not include Richard Saddler, current state board chairman, or Bill Colbert, also a current board member.

Some are saying the process is flawed and undermines democracy since incumbents were not forwarded automatically. Also, some don't like the idea of a weighted vote — that is, committee members ranked their top three picks in each district, giving the most points to the most favored. The three with the most points were advanced to the governor.

So though some candidates may have had more votes, if their competitors' points were higher, they were beat out.

Even so, nominating committee leaders say they are pleased with the pool of candidates.

The nominating committee process was created by the Legislature with the intent of bringing diverse opinions and backgrounds to the board.

The committee is made up of a dozen members, including leaders from education, school boards, PTA and the business community. That committee recommends three candidates to the governor, who then chooses two to be on the ballot.


E-mail: terickson@desnews.com