METHOW VALLEY – A local school board candidate was unable to continue her campaign recently, largely due to the impact of a monetary fine imposed by the state’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). Michelle Randolph, a candidate for Director position 4 for Methow Valley School District #350, made the decision to withdraw as part of a settlement with the PDC.

Due to a family member’s medical issues, Randolph hadn’t filed the required F-1 disclosure form with the PDC in the required time period. The F-1 form is required for all state officeholders and candidates to publicly disclose their financial interests and debts. To avoid the $100 fine imposed by the PDC, Randolph agreed to end all campaign activity and to decline to accept the position, even if she won the election - as her name will still appear on the November ballot.

Randolph had been running a campaign without accepting contributions or spending money on advertising, and didn’t want to ask for money from supporters to pay the fine.

As a 4th generation Methow Valley resident, Randolph has felt underrepresented by the school board because it has not had a parent with a student in the district in over 25 years and has become out of touch from the community it is supposed to represent. Key issues over budgeting, framework and district policies that seem to be counter to the state Constitution were the driving forces behind what she had hoped to tackle on the board. Though she has stepped away from the race, Michelle has expressed a strong desire to continue to pursue those issues, however from a different approach in a private rather than public capacity.

Gary Marchbank is the only remaining school board candidate for Director position 4.

With many more mandates of various kinds being imposed locally from the state level, there may be more parental interest in participating in school boards. School boards have broad discretionary power under state law to determine the best course of action and set policy for local schools.

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