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Wauwatosa School Board candidate says he no longer will seek seat

Bawden cites family-related health matter; his name will still appear on April ballot

Jan. 29, 2014

Brian Bawden, a candidate for School Board in the April election, said this week that he is no longer seeking the seat.

Bawden, a former teacher in the Wauwatosa School District, said his father's health had changed, and he would "not be able to devote the necessary attention to school related issues."

Bawden was a candidate for Seat 7, currently held by Carmela Rios, who has declined to run for re-election. Michael Huitink, an attorney with Godfrey & Kahn, also is a candidate for the seat.

Bawden's name will still appear on the April 1 election ballot, in accordance with state election law. "Once a candidate qualifies for ballot status, her name appears on the ballot. The candidate cannot withdraw and have her name removed," according to the Government Accountability Board.

If elected, Bawden may decline to hold the office, according to the GAB. Upon his decline, state election law says that his opponent does not automatically win the seat; rather, the seat is filled by appointment.

"I have been advised by the GAB that the district should not do any type of notification," said Connie Galante, administrative assistant to Superintendent Phil Ertl. "In the event the candidate would change his mind, decide to run and then lose the election, the candidate could blame the loss on notification methods."

With Bawden's announcement, Huitink is the only active candidate for Seat 7.

Incumbent Mary Jo Randall is running for re-election unopposed for Seat 4; incumbent Sharon Muehlfeld is running for re-election unopposed for Seat 6; and newcomer Kristy Casey is running unopposed for Seat 5, currently held by Thomas Jarosz, who is not running for re-election.

School Board members are elected at-large for numbered seats and serve three-year terms. The three members not facing election this spring are School Board President Michael Meier, Seat 2; Anne Fee, Seat 3; and Phil Kroner, Seat 1.

School Board officers, including the office of president, will be elected or re-elected on May 5.

In a related matter, the School Board meeting scheduled for Monday this week was canceled because of the weather.

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