The race for three open seats on Litchfield Elementary School District’s Governing Board is effectively over, but it can’t be called as uncontested and canceled until write-in candidates Dr. Tawnya Pfitzer and Ryan Risselman submit official withdrawal forms.
Mr. Risselman announced his withdrawal from the race Thursday, Sept. 24, just hours before he was scheduled to appear at a virtual candidates’ forum with incumbents Dawn Clymer and Melissa Zuidema, and fellow newcomer August Jeremy Hoenack.
The forum hosted by LESD’s Educational Foundation will be live-streamed on YouTube at 6 p.m.
“I originally entered the race with good intentions as a concerned parent who just wanted the best for my children and our community. The more I learn about the process and what it will take to be successful in this important role, I realize I would not be able to give it the time and attention that I would like to in order to truly make a difference,” the Goodyear electrical estimator said via email Thursday. “If I cannot give 100%, then I will be doing a disservice to my community if I were to win a seat on the board, and that is not something I would ever want to do.”
LESD Superintendent Jodi Gunning said in a prepared statement Thursday afternoon Mr. Risselman and Dr. Pfitzer will be recognized as official write-ins by the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent, the governmental body that oversees school board elections, until they submit a notarized candidate withdrawal form.
“We are grateful to the community leaders who are committed to our educational excellence. Dr. Pfitzer and our current board members are a valued part of our Litchfield family and we look forward to welcoming Mr. Hoenack to our noble work in January,” Ms. Gunning said. “Voters will see Danielle Clymer, Jeremy Hoenack and Melissa Zuidema on the ballot. They are running for three four-year seats.”
Ms. Pfitzer announced Monday, Aug. 31 she was withdrawing from the race.
“It was a very difficult decision and I have been torn for the past few months. I finally decided that my schedule just wouldn’t allow me to put the time and effort in that is really required to get the job done well,” the Buckeye podiatrist wrote in an email.
Governing board elections for two other school districts serving Southwest Valley students, Agua Fria Union High School District and Avondale Elementary School District were canceled earlier this year when only three candidates in each race filed for those open seats.
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or 760-963-1697.