Calling all candidates: Filing window for school board, local government positions soon opens

FILE - Poll workers sort out early and absentee ballots at the Kenosha Municipal Building on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, in Kenosha. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

By Pat Kreitlow

November 27, 2023

School boards and local governments are always on the lookout for new candidates who want to step up and serve their hometowns.

Opportunity is about to come knocking for people who would like to become more involved in their community’s schools and local government. Starting Friday (Dec. 1), potential candidates for the 2024 nonpartisan spring elections can begin collecting signatures on nominating petitions that qualify them to be on the ballot.

Voters will make decisions next April in a variety of races that include school boards, county boards, city councils, other local government bodies and officials, and some judgeships. If there are races with enough candidates that require a primary election, that will be held February 20.

While the spring general elections are for nonpartisan posts in Wisconsin, there is one noteworthy exception involving the Democratic and Republican parties—the state’s presidential primary is also held on April 2.

Public education advocates are encouraging anyone with interest to consider running for their local school board. Eau Claire school board president Tim Nordin and Wisconsin Public Education Network executive director Heather DuBois Bourenane spoke to UpNorthNews Radio about the qualities that make up an excellent school board member.

“People run for school boards because they care about kids,” said Wisconsin Public Education Network Executive Director Heather DuBois Bourenane. “They’re looking at what’s happening in their public schools and they’re thinking, ‘How can I be part of making sure these kids have what they need?’”

“The most important thing is being able to support each and every student for who they are,” said Eau Claire School Board President Tim Nordin. “And bring with that an ear for communication with the community because part of our job is to represent the values of our community’s schools the best that they can.”

The Wisconsin Association of School Boards publishes a “Guide for Candidates” that says good school board members should have “an open mind and a readiness to learn” and “a commitment to the belief that all children in a school district are entitled to have available to them a beneficial education program.”

The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on January 2 for candidates to turn in nominating petitions along with a formal declaration of candidacy and a campaign finance registration statement. All of the proper forms and instructions are available through the Wisconsin Elections Commission.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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