Oregon school board challengers sweep

By: 
Scott De Laruelle

It wasn’t a party vote, but three incumbents were swept out of office convincingly during an Oregon School Board election Tuesday that could fundamentally change the board’s outlook in some key recent issues.

According to the School District, unofficial results Tuesday night included Area II, where, covering the City of Fitchburg, incumbent board president Courtney Odorico was defeated by former school board member Charles Uphoff, 2,049-1,638.

In Area III, covering the towns of Dunn, Blooming Grove and Rutland, Barb Feeney defeated incumbent Lee Christensen, 2,027-1,632.

In Area IV, covering the towns of Oregon, Montrose, Brooklyn and Union and the Village of Brooklyn, Gwen Maitzen defeated incumbent Wayne Mixdorf, 2,005-1,668.

Uphoff, Maitzen and Feeney were endorsed by the OEA, and given the limited difference in public comment from candidates on issues, the results could be seen as a sort of referendum on relations between the school district and teachers, as the recent controversy over the “Just Cause” language in the district employee handbook was brought to the front during the recent campaign.

In February, the school district had a rare primary in Area IV, where Mixdorf and Maitzen outpolled a third candidate, Justin Zander, who later endorsed Maitzen.

School board terms are three years in length. Other Oregon School Board members are Steve Zach, Jeff Ramin, Rae Vogeler and Dan Krause.

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