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Both parties endorse in nonpartisan School Board race

School Board candidates Jay Egolf, in red sweatshirt, and Dot Case handbill at the Board of Elections. School Board candidates Jay Egolf, in red sweatshirt, and Dot Case handbill at the Board of Elections.

Less publicly than it did in 2016, the Republican Party is again endorsing candidates in the nonpartisan School Board election. And this time, Democrats are pulling an arrow from the Republican quiver from 2012, when the GOP urged partisans to cast a “single-shot” vote for Republican Josh Houston.

 

A Republican activist handing out green palm cards at the one-stop polling place said candidates on the list supported President Trump. The Democrats’ blue handbill lists only Stacey Caskey, the only registered Democrat on the ballot, in the officially nonpartisan School Board race. In 2016, the Republican Party held a forum in which it invited the four School Board members who were registered Republicans — then held a straw poll and endorsed all four. Two of them won — Blair Craven and Michael Absher.
Outside the Board of Elections office on Tuesday, School Board candidates Caskey, Dot Case, and Jay Egolf were all asking for votes. Only Egolf, a Republican, was listed on the “Henderson County Republican Party Conservative Voter Guide.” The GOP also endorsed Republicans Ted Beddingfield and Amy Lynn Holt, the board chair.
“I tried to get on both,” Egolf said. “I went to the Democratic breakfast and said, ‘At least let me come down and talk to y’all and let the people decide if they want to support me.’”
Caskey, a Democrat, said the GOP didn’t notify her to ask questions until after its endorsement list had already come out. “I hope for School Board people realize it’s nonpartisan,” she said.
“I knew when I started that if I was unaffiliated I wouldn’t be endorsed by either side,” Case said. “That’s why I’m out here every day.”