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Poor turnout leads to Durango school board election cancellation

Current board members Kristin Smith and Katie Stewart will retain positions
Only two candidates filed necessary paperwork by Sept. 1 deadline. Both were Katie Stewart and Kristin Smith. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Durango School District 9-R canceled its school board election on Friday because of low candidate turnout.

There are two director offices that were to be voted upon this fall: one in District B, the other in District D. Both of which were four-year terms.

Both Board President Kristin Smith and Board Member Katie Stewart were up for re-election this year and filed to run again. According to a news release from the school district on Friday, no other candidates submitted necessary paperwork by the filing deadline of Sept. 1 at 4 p.m.

State of Colorado law says that potential candidates are required to file a nomination petition signed by at least 50 eligible electors from throughout the school district by that deadline.

It allows the Board of Education by resolution to cancel the election and declare the candidates elected if at the close of business on Sept. 5, that there are fewer candidates than offices to be filled at the election, including candidates filing affidavits of intent to be write-in candidates.

During a Sept. 5 meeting, the 9-R Board of Education voted to cancel the election because there were no other candidates and appointed Smith and Stewart to continue with their positions.

Without holding an election, the district will save $26,000 in election ballot fees. The next school board election is scheduled for In November of 2025, Districts A, C, and E will be up for election.


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