State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, has filed to run for a seat on the Columbia School Board,Tuesday evening.
Basye wrote that district authorities "would not let him in" to file for candidacy at the Aslin Administration Building and that he instead filed through the Boone County Clerk's office before the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday.
However, because he did not follow Columbia Public Schools' publicly posted rules to file, whether Basye qualifies for board candidacy in the April 4 election is unclear. The district is looking into whether his filing is legal, district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark wrote in a text Wednesday.
Filing for the board after Dec. 6 had to be done by appointment only, according to the district's procedures. Because the last day to file, Tuesday, fell on a district holiday, people who wanted to file needed to make an appointment by 4 p.m. Dec. 22 to do so.
Basye did not set up an appointment before this deadline, Baumstark wrote.
"No one stopped him. The office was closed. The 27th was not a workday for any CPS employees," Baumstark wrote.
Seven people filed to run for the board under the district's procedures. They are: Paul Harper, John Potter, incumbent Chris Horn, Dean Klempke Jr., James Gordon, John Lyman and April Ferrao. Three seats will come open; terms are for three years and unpaid.
Basye wrote in his post that he expected "to be certified by the Columbia School District tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and have my name on the April ballot." He also said he reached out to the Missouri Attorney General's Office and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft for guidance.
Filing, however, doesn't automatically mean someone is on the ballot; candidates have to be certified. That starts with filing legally but also includes certification at multiple levels, such as by completing required filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Baumstark said.
The district must submit a notice of election and a sample ballot to the county clerk's office by Jan. 24. The School Board plans to authorize the notice and ballot at its regular meeting Jan. 9, Baumstark said.
Art Auer, director of elections at the Boone County Clerk's office, said that although Basye filed with the county clerk's office, the district is the normal filing officer for the board race. He said how to move forward is the district's decision, not that of the county clerk's office.
"As I would understand it, it's the district's decision how to proceed at this point regarding his (Basye's) filing, with how they have their filing set up over the three-week filing period," Auer said Wednesday.
Qualifications for candidacy, write-ins
According to the Missouri School Boards' Association, qualifications to be a board candidate include:
- Being a U.S. citizen.
- Being a resident taxpayer or voter within the district.
- Being a Missouri resident for a minimum of one year before the election.
- Being at least 24 years old.
"Candidates must also be current on state and local taxes; have not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under Missouri or federal law; are not registered or required to register as a sex offender; and have filed required campaign documents for all previous campaigns, if any," according to the association's website.
Write-in candidates are permitted in all elections, according to Missouri School Boards' Association's legal guide to running for the board.
"If candidates have filed for each open seat, a write-in candidate is required to file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate with the county clerk or other election authority," according to the guide.
Declarations of intent must be filed before 5 p.m. on the second Friday before the election, which is March 24.