Friday, November 11, 2005

Stillwater: How About That School Board Election?

Alright, I'm down in New Orleans and I got other thing on mah mind, but I want to know: how do you folks back in Stillwater intepret that School Board election?

Conservative School Board Chairman Thole staggered across the finish line to get re-elected, just barely nosing out a relatively unknown challenger. I haven't seen the Gazette or the Courier, and I bet he put as happy a face on as he could, but he can't have been too pleased with third place. His arch-rival on the board, Buchmann, did much better than he did, and the Great Unknown, Bucholz, completely swamped him.

My take, from far far away: Voters were clearly displeased with the way the School Board was being run. Thole made it back in again because he has a hard core of voters who love him, but there seem to be hell of a lot of voter who think less of him and the conservative bloc on the school board these day. Thole had every advantage in the race: visibility, experience, the Chairmanship, a great reputation in the community, his column in the Gazette to bump voter turnout--and he still placed third, and a weak third at that. He and the other conservatives on the board maintain their solid 4-3 voting bloc, but the vote totals show how weak the support for conservatives is. Rheinberger ran harder than anyone, and finished behind candidates with less money and less visibility.

A conservative bloc on the school board isn't doomed, by any means. We've still got the retirement-and-unelected-board-member scenario to deal with. No answer from Thole yet on my question re: Junker.

I promise to crush you all with funny stuff once I get back home, but it's looonely out here on the road...write to me.


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