Russ Tandy drops out of school board race, four candidates remain

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | 5:47 p.m. CST; updated 11:38 a.m. CST, Thursday, March 8, 2012

*Russ Tandy said he would rather have one forum at which general questions could be answered and at which organizations could also get their group-specific questions answered. An earlier version of this article misstated Tandy's perspective.

For more on the 2012 Columbia School Board Election, click here.

COLUMBIA — Russ Tandy said he filed paperwork Tuesday to drop his name from the April 3 Columbia School Board election.

"It's much more political than I had dreamed," Tandy said.

Tandy said he decided not to run for personal reasons, and he was frustrated with how drawn out the "vetting" process was.

Tandy said he met many good people during his time as a candidate but was unhappy with being asked the same questions by multiple groups.

"I think it's ridiculous," he said.

*He said he wished candidates had only one forum in which to answer general questions. Organizations seeking information about candidates also could get their group-specific questions answered there.

According to the Missouri School Boards' Association, after candidates have been certified, they may only be taken off the ballot by a court order. Tandy said he filed his paperwork with County Clerk Wendy Noren on Tuesday.

Rex Cone, Paul Cushing, Melvin Blase and incumbent Christine King are still candidates for the two open school board spots.

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Laura Johnston February 8, 2012 | 9:44 a.m.

The Missourian received the following comment from Russ Tandy:

I recently removed my name from the School Board race. I was contacted my the Missourian and I gave them my story. Unfortunately what appeared in the paper had little to do with the information I shared, so let me set the record straight.
I was running "for the kids" not for all of the special interest groups. No need to be so overtly political. I filled out questionnaires, answered e-mails and met with people. The same 5-6 questions were asked each time, then 3-4 questions concerning their special interest group.
There are going to be forums sponsored by each group. I've been told these are usually sparsely attended. That is ridiculous and a waste of time and resources.
What I actually said was, I would like to see only one forum (not form) with all groups attending. Answer the generic questions then let each group submit 2-3 questions specific to their group. Put a time limit on the questions and answers and a time limit on the meeting.
No wonder it's so difficult to get people to run for the board.
It has to be about the kids not the special interest groups. Endorsements should mean nothing to an educated voter. I'm just too politically incorrect to play the game.

Laura Johnston, interactive news editor

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