Fri, Feb. 21

Aug. 24 deadline for write-in school board candidates
Candidate filings slim in Verde Valley races

Tim Carter

Tim Carter

VERDE VALLEY - On Aug. 25, it is possible that Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter will ask the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors to cancel five of the Verde Valley's nine Nov. 8 school board elections.

With the number of candidates equaling the number of vacancies in four of the districts - and a fifth district with one fewer candidate than opening, the Board of Supervisors would likely cancel those elections - and Superintendent Carter would then appoint the candidates onto the board "as if they had been elected."

"We always try to protect the right of the voters to elect," Carter said. "But would the voters really want to bear the coast of an election?" Not if the end result would essentially be a foregone conclusion.

With the Aug. 10 deadline to file paperwork to run for a seat on a school board having passed, Aug. 24 is the deadline for anyone interested in becoming a write-in candidate to pick up a candidate packet and have filed committee paperwork.

After Aug. 24, the list of candidates for the county's school district governing board elections would be final - unless someone has filed a challenge to the paperwork of a candidate.

For more information, call Yavapai County Elections Coordinator Jenn Nelson at 928-442-5138 or email at Or visit

Yavapai College District

Since she defeated incumbent Herald Harrington by nearly 20 percentage points in November 2014, District 2 seat of the Yavapai College District Governing Board has belonged to Deb McCasland.

But McCasland has a challenger in the Nov. 8 election in Prescott Valley resident Walt Nagy.

Both McCasland and Nagy are running for a six-year term on the college's DGB.

Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School District

Incumbents Jill Zaske and Michael Gordon seek reelection to the Clarkdale-Jerome school board. Being the only two candidates for two open positions, Superintendent Carter would likely ask the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors to cancel this election - then Superintendent Carter would appoint Zaske and Gordon to the board.

"The board of supervisors holds the power to cancel elections," Carter said. "I just make the recommendation."

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District

At Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, there are four candidates for three openings, as incumbents JoAnne Cook and Mary Valenzuela will run for reelection and newcomers Joseph Klida and Linda Walker both look to join the board.

Marv Lamer, whose term on the COCSD board will expire on Dec. 31, will not seek reelection.

Mingus Union High School District

There are six candidates for three openings on the Mingus Union High School District, as both Anthony Lozano and Robb Williams run to keep their spots on the board, with Lori Drake, David Gray, Jonathan Jauregui and Mandy Worth each looking to join MUHSD's board.

Former Mingus school board member Brenda Zenan resigned in May when she and her family moved out of the county.

Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education District

The structure of the Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education board is rather unique, as each of the five board members represents a different part of the Verde Valley - and each is a separate member district.

Two of the three member districts will have new board members. Jeffrey Wassell will look to replace Sedona-Oak Creek's Dan Brown, who will not seek reelection. Frank Vander Horst will run for Charlene Day's seat as Clarkdale-Jerome's board member. Day is not running for reelection.

So far, incumbent Steve Pike is running uncontested to represent Camp Verde. With just one candidate running for each of the district board's three openings, Superintendent Carter would likely cancel these three elections - and appoint each of the three candidates to the board.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek Elementary School District (3 openings)

JoAnne Cook

Joseph Klida (new)

Mary Valenzuela

Linda Walker (new)

Mingus Union School District (3 openings)

Lori Drake (new)

David Gray (new)

Jonathan Jauregui (new)

Anthony Lozano

Robb Williams

Mandy Worth (new)

Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School District (2 openings)

Michael Gordon

Jill Zaske

Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education (3 openings)

VACTE Member District - Clarkdale-Jerome

Charlene Day (NO)

Frank Vander Horst (new)

VACTE Member District - Camp Verde

Steve Pike

VACTE Member District - Sedona-Oak Creek

Jeffrey Wassell (new)

Yavapai College District (1 opening)

Deb McCasland

Walt Nagy

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