Write-in candidates seek school board, council seats

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There are now five candidates seeking three available seats on the Superior School Board.
Former school board member Jonathan Asp and newcomer Steve Stupak Jr. have registered with the district as write-in candidates. Another newcomer, Michael Meyer, picked up a registration form from the district office Monday.

Their names will not appear on the ballot with those of incumbent Len Albrecht and former board member Steve Stupak, who had already declared their candidacies. But they can be written on the blank lines below.

Asp said he learned that the district only had two candidates for three seats, and wanted to offer voters a qualified choice. A regional sales manager for Office Enterprises Inc., Asp served on the school board from 2012 to 2015. In addition to being chairman of the curriculum committee, he was active in planning the NBC Spartan Sports Complex and the new building referendum.

"I've been around through some major changes that occurred in this school district," Asp said, and he enjoyed working collaboratively with parents, teachers, staff and administration.

With four children enrolled in the district, Asp has a vested interest in Superior education.

"I think the budget is going to be a challenge moving forward," he said. "There are also going to be great opportunities."

Stupak Jr. was inspired, in part, by his father, who talked about what a good experience he had on the school board. The younger Stupak is attending Lake Superior College for a degree in network administration and security.

Stupak Jr. said he would bring an IT (information technology) perspective to the board.

Meyer, a school social worker with the Duluth Public Schools, brings 15 years of education experience to the race, as well as a passion for kids and families.

"I'm very impressed with what we have available in Superior," said Meyer, whose son will be attending the new Cooper Elementary School in the fall. "I want to be a bigger part of that."

He was prompted to run by a conversation with a Superior Middle School student. She told him about all the opportunities she had, including Spanish classes for high school credit.

"She said 'All the teachers push me to be my best,'" Meyer said.

Supporting kids and families, and supporting teachers so they can continue to do great work are the biggest challenges the board faces, he said.

Any district resident can run a write-in campaign for the school board, whether they register or not.

Per campaign finance law, write-in candidates must register before they raise or spend any money on their campaign.

Registration is a less involved process than filing for candidacy. No signatures are required, just a simple form. Copies of the campaign registration statement form are available at the school board office, 3025 Tower Ave. There is no cut-off date to register.

City council seat

The previously uncontested race for the 3rd District City Council seat is also facing a challenge as district resident, Amanda Perrin, offers herself as a write-in choice.

However, she said, she didn't decide to run just because the seat was uncontested. Councilor Warren Bender was running unopposed and will be the only name that appears on the ballot. He has held the seat since 2008.

In fact, Perrin said she was a little inspired by Bender, who has kept his constituency informed about the inner-workings of the city with a periodic newsletter, the "Bender Bulletin."

"He's been kind of a pillar for awhile," Perrin said. "That's what I'm trying to figure out—if I disrupt that. I don't want to disrupt just to disrupt. I'm hoping to meet with Warren soon."

Perrin moved to Superior last April, and said she didn't realize the district where she lives was coming up for election this soon. She said now that she and her partner are settled in the area, it just seemed to be the right time to get involved in the community. Her goal is to address issues that affect people's lives.

"I've got a wonderful community that I get to be a part of," Perrin said.