State GOP weighs in on local school board elections

The Republican Party of Minnesota is backing candidates in four school board elections tomorrow.

GOP officials are distributing sample ballots listing their preferred candidates in the following school districts: Inver Grove Heights, St. Paul, South Washington County and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan. They’re also making financial contributions.

Partisan endorsements are rare in school districts outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But state GOP Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb says the practice could become more common. He says the party has been encouraging local units to endorse school board candidates.

“Local party activists sometimes choose not to endorse candidates, and that’s fine,” Brodkorb said. “It’s a local decision. But when the locals do gather and decide to endorse, the party will step up.”

The GOP is backing two candidates in Inver Grove Heights, which is the home district of state GOP Chairman Tony Sutton. His wife, Bridget Sutton currently serves on that school board but is not up for re-election this year. Brodkorb said the state party played no role in the endorsements.

A spokeswoman for the Minnesota DFL says St. Paul is the only school district with DFL-endorsed school board candidates on the ballot tomorrow.

  • Thomas Anderson

    The Republican sample ballot for the ISD #197 district (West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Eagan) also indicates that voters may “Vote for up to four” candidates, however, there are only THREE positions to be filled.