District 32 to hold uncontested election


Incumbent board members Mark Gremaud and Kevin Bachmann face no challengers for their seats on the Perry County School District 32 Board of Education, but the district will still be holding an election Tuesday, April 6.
This is unusual because Missouri law allows for school districts to “skip” elections when there are the same number of candidates as positions to be elected.
However, something occurred that the district has never experienced: A candidate filed but withdrew their filing before the filing was certified by Perry County Circuit Clerk Jared Kutz, which will happen Tuesday, Jan. 26. The individual withdrew their filing for personal reasons and will not be named by the district.
“We weren’t quite sure how to proceed at that point,” said Board Secretary Dorris Thieret. “We then consulted with attorneys at Missouri School Boards Association and the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office.
“We have been advised that the candidate who withdrew their filing will not appear on the ballot, but we must still hold an election. Missouri statute requires this,” Thieret said.
In Missouri, every entity that has a ballot issue pays a portion of the cost of that election. For District 32, the last ballot issue was June 2, 2020 (the April 2020 election was delayed due to the pandemic). The district’s portion of that election was just over $7,700. If there are very few issues on a ballot, the District can pay $10,000 or more for an election.

“As explained to us, we must participate in the election, even though the candidate withdrew before the ballot was certified,” said Superintendent Andy Comstock. “The intent of this law is to prevent entities from pressuring ‘extra’ candidates to not run for election, so that the entity doesn’t have to pay those ballot costs.
“Although this instance is clearly an exception to the rule, we can’t argue with the spirit of the law,” Comstock said. “We support free and fair elections, and encourage everyone interested in serving their schools and community to consider running for the school board.
District 32 has seven elected volunteer board members, who serve without pay for a period of three years.
Filing opens each December for either two or three seats on the board. To file as a candidate for the District 32 Board of Education, a person must be a US citizen, a resident taxpayer of the district, a resident of Missouri for at least one year and at least 24 years of age.
Candidates must also be current on state and local taxes; have not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under Missouri or federal law; are not registered or required to register as a sex offender; and have filed required campaign documents for all previous campaigns, if any.
Three spots will be up for election in 2022 while spots board spots will be up for election in 2023.