Four candidates vie for two Boise trustee seats

Four candidates will vie for two spots on the Boise School Board.

And only one incumbent will be in the field in the Sept. 6 election.

David Wagers, president of the Idaho Candy Co., filed to seek a six-year term on the board. Wagers was appointed in 2015, and will appear on a Boise School District ballot for the first time.

However, one well-known school board incumbent will not stand for re-election: Brian Cronin, a former state legislator who played a prominent role in the 2012 campaign to overturn Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Cronin was elected in 2014 to serve out the remaining two years of a board term.

The three newcomers on the ballot are Stephen Adams, an attorney; Beth Oppenheimer; and Monica Walker, a loan officer.

Oppenheimer is no stranger to education politics. The executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, Oppenheimer has been a high-profile advocate for pre-kindergarten programs, frequently testifying on early childhood issues at the Statehouse. She announced her candidacy Friday on her Facebook page, pledging to uphold the district’s “legacy of excellence.”

Oppenheimer lists Cronin as one of her nominating electors on campaign paperwork released by the district late Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise is also supporting Oppenheimer.

Friday was the deadline for candidates to file for school board — but, due to the Fourth of July holiday weekend,  it wasn’t until Tuesday morning that the Boise School District announced the candidates’ names. On its website, the district said it would post candidate profiles at a later date, “as information is received.”

The four candidates will vie for two spots on the board, and the top two vote-getters will win six-year terms.

Most school districts elect trustees in May, as specified by state law. But the Boise district’s governing charter precedes statehood, which allows the district to set its own campaign calendar.

Historically, September trustee elections draw scant voter turnout. In 2014, 6.3 percent of eligible voters cast ballots; the 2010 turnout was 1.6 percent.