A straw poll was held during the Legislative District 12 Republican Party meeting on Thursday, Oct 17, 2014 at South Valley Junior High School. The poll was taken among attending precinct committeemen and polling “ballots” were handed out as PC’s entered the meeting location upon arrival. Slips were collected well into the meeting, providing a great deal of time for PC’s to consider their position and make their selection. The results of the straw poll were shared with the membership body near the end of the meeting after being tallied. Final results were that Ron Bellus and Dawn Brimhall received the endorsement for Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board, while Rebecca Jarman and Michelle Anderson received the endorsement for Higley Unified School District Governing Board.
So why the fireworks?
Legislative districts operate under their own by-laws but are also subject to and are super-ceded by county by-laws within Maricopa County. The county by-laws strictly prohibit any precinct committeeman from publicly endorsing a candidate of another party. Of course, each committeeman may vote for whomever they choose, but in order to maintain credentials as a Republican Precinct Committeeman, public endorsement of a candidate of another party is strictly forbidden.
Dr. EJ Anderson, and Suzie Horvath, both former governing board members for Gilbert Public Schools are to have their credentials challenged for openly endorsing another party candidate. More surprisingly, Dr. Anderson attended training for PCs over a year ago where this instruction was specifically given. Dr. Anderson claims to be covered under the notion that school board positions are non-partisan, so why should it matter? Yet, the mission and purpose stated in the local and reaffirmed in the county by-laws are that legislative districts exist in order to get republicans elected. This mission and purpose does not exclude non-partisan positions but rather the opposite. The language is intentionally broad enough to include ALL elected positions at ALL levels of government. Additionally, the restrictions on publicly endorsing candidates of any other party or affiliation are intentionally equally as broad and include non-partisan positions. The plight of PC credentials for both Dr. Anderson and Mrs. Horvath will become a matter of county leadership to determine. AJ Lafaro is the Republican Party Chairman for Maricopa County.
GSInfo also endorses and recommends:
GPS school board – Ron Bellus, Dawn Brimhall
HUSD school board – Rebecca Jarman, Michelle Anderson