Two candidates for school board campaign together

A campaign sign on First Street in Grand Junction features two candidates for the upcoming District 51 School Board election. Ann Tisue is running against Cindy Enos-Martinez for the District B seat. Arvan “Jeff” Leany is running unopposed in District A.

They’re together on the issues. Now they’re together on the campaign trail.

District 51 School Board candidates Arvan “Jeff” Leany and Ann Tisue have discussed shared interests in increasing test scores and keeping taxes level since becoming the only two non-incumbent candidates for the board. Their decision to work together to get elected became public Saturday when they rode together on an all-terrain vehicle in the Fruita Fall Festival parade, pulling a trailer with signs on it reading, “Vote for the 2 A’s, Ann Tisue, Arvin Leany.”

Leany placed the signs with his name and Tisue’s outside two of his businesses, Starvin Arvin’s at 3247 F Road in Clifton and Pufferbelly Station Restaurant at 337 S. First St. in Grand Junction. He said he doesn’t mind that his first name was misspelled on both signs, which Tisue printed with her out-of-pocket funds.

“There was a little typo in there. Something fell through the cracks,” Tisue said.

Leany is running unopposed in District A, and Tisue is running against incumbent Cindy Enos-Martinez in District B. Enos-Martinez, who walked separately from Tisue and Leany in the Fruita Fall Festival parade, called the partnership “a little weird.”

“I guess it’s OK for them if that’s the way they want to do it. Maybe she feels like she’s got an in because he’s unopposed. Maybe he feels like she’s got it wrapped up,” Enos-Martinez said.

Leany said he and Tisue decided to campaign together because of a common goal to give the board “a breath of fresh air.”

“We’re business people, and I think we can shed a little different viewpoint on the board instead of the same old thing. We feel we can work with the money we have instead of raising taxes,” he said.

Enos-Martinez and Leany said separately they would treat each other with respect if Tisue loses and Enos-Martinez and Leany are elected. That doesn’t mean they plan to see eye-to-eye if that happens.

“I’m sure we’ll have our debates because we’re pretty much on the opposite end of each others’ thought processes,” Enos-Martinez said, referring to Leany.

An existing issue of contention between the two is the mill levy override that current school board members placed on this November’s ballot. Leany and Tisue have said they will not vote for the override, although Tisue has repeatedly added she wants voters to make their own decision on the override, which would increase property taxes to help fund local education.

The signs with Leany and Tisue’s names include the slogan, “We’re here to create solutions ... not raise taxes,” a variation of the slogan on Tisue’s campaign fliers, “I’m here to create solutions ... not raise taxes.” Tisue said she her slogan is not specifically talking about the override.

“My stand is: I wouldn’t increase taxes, and there also shouldn’t be any cuts in the classrooms. I think we can find efficiencies in other areas,” Tisue said.


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