Moran adds name to candidates for District 51 seat

The field of candidates for a District 51 School Board seat left vacant by the June 2 death of Harry Butler has expanded to three.

Mike J. Moran, a Realtor and adjunct instructor in speech making at Colorado Mesa University, filed his paperwork Monday to be considered for the District C seat on the board. Potential candidates have until July 23 to submit to the district a resume, letter of intent and an affidavit that proves they live in District C, have lived in the school district for at least 12 consecutive months, and that they have never been convicted of a sex offense against a child.

Candidates so far are former District 51 School Board member Pat Kanda, former Grand Junction City Councilor Laura Luke and Moran.

The school board’s remaining four members will select a candidate to appoint to Butler’s former seat through the end of his term in November at a meeting July 30. In the event of a tie vote, Board President Greg Mikolai will select the winner.

Moran said he believes the board and council experience of the other two candidates makes him “a long shot,” but his interest in education convinced him now is the time to try for a seat on the board. Whether he is appointed later this month or not, Moran said the experience of running will help him decide whether to try again for the seat in the Nov. 5 election.

“If I find it’s not a pleasant experience even going this far, I will know it wouldn’t be the way to go,” Moran said, although he added he expects campaigning will be a good experience.

Moran said he decided two weeks ago to try for the District C seat because he has nine grandchildren, reported on education as a TV news employee and as a writer for The Business Times and teaches public school students at the postsecondary level. He said his parents also emphasized the importance of education throughout his upbringing.

Although he wants to reserve judgement until he knows more about the inner workings of the board, Moran said, if appointed, he hopes to look more into lessons that can be learned from charter, online and homeschooling programs and see whether the district needs more money to operate better or if more can be done with current funding.


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