LEAVENWORTH — Cascade School Board Position 2 candidate Judy Derpack is getting support from an unexpected corner — her opponent, Marco Aurilio.
Aurilio, who was working as a Leavenworth firefighter when he filed for office in May, later accepted a teaching position with the school district that he wants to keep.
Conflict of interest rules state he can’t do both, he said, but the deadline to withdraw from the race and get his name removed from the ballot passed by the time the details were worked out.
“I encourage people to vote for her,” Aurilio said of Derpack. “We have the same ideals.”
He and Derpack, a retired teacher and active community volunteer — serving on 12 nonprofit boards through the years and still serves on the Wenatchee River Institute, Upper Valley Preschool, Cultural Connections NCW and Friends of the NW Hatcheries — both filed for the post being vacated by current board president Brenda Biebesheimer, who decided not to seek a second term. The position represents the area that encompasses the city of Leavenworth, Titus Road and Ski Hill. It’s one of two school board seats up for election this year. Cyndi Garza, who was appointed to the Position 4 spot in 2018, is running unopposed for that seat, which represents Peshastin and North Road.
Derpack said she brings experience as a classroom teacher, parent and grandparent to the table.
“I believe I can bring a broad perspective and commitment to consensus to the Cascade School District. I am passionate about how children learn, recognizing that everyone’s growth looks different,” she said.
Aurilio, in the meantime, considered switching gears to file as a write-in candidate for a Leavenworth City Council position, but learned Thursday he could not do that either, since his name remains on the ballot for the school board race.
Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore said the rules are clear.
“The timing was just all wrong for him,” he said. “By the time he found out about his job, he couldn’t get taken off the ballot. And then he couldn’t file as a write-in candidate because you can’t have your name on the ballot twice, except for precinct committee officer.”
Even running an unofficial write-in campaign for a city office wouldn’t work, Moore said.
“We can’t count the votes unless he is filed as a write-in candidate, but I can’t accept his write-in candidacy because his name is still on the ballot for school board.”
The votes for him in the school board race, though, will be counted, Moore said, creating the possibility that Aurilio could be elected though he can’t accept the position.
If Aurilio is declared the winner, Derpack would not be a shoe-in for the office. The board would have to appoint someone to fill what would be considered a vacancy on the board, Moore said.
“The rules on that are clear on that, too,” Moore said, which are designed to prevent people going around the system and getting elected by default.
Aurilio said he hopes that doesn’t happen.
“I give her my full support,” he said. “I look forward to remaining active on the Cascade School District Wellness Committee and the Leavenworth Parks and Service Recreation Area Committee to promote positive change and sustainable growth.”
And watch for his name on the ballot in the future.
“Next year will present more opportunities to serve as an elected representative,” he said.