The leading vote getter in Tuesday's Madison School Board primary race abruptly dropped out Thursday.

Sarah Manski said in a statement Thursday she would no longer campaign for the seat because her husband was accepted into a sociology Ph.D. program in California.

"This is obviously a very positive step in his career development and important to us. It also means I will be unable to serve my full term if elected, and for this reason I am withdrawing from the race," she said.

Manski did not return calls seeking comment. It's unclear when she knew her husband was accepted to the graduate school program. Her statement said she "just learned" about it.

She received 45.2 percent of the vote in a three-way primary. T.J. Mertz received 31.8 percent of the vote, while Ananda Mirilli gained 21.7 percent.

Manski's name will remain on the April 2 ballot along with Mertz's. Mirilli said Thursday she would meet with her campaign committee to discuss a possible write-in effort.

Manski endorsed Mertz in her statement.

"He can be counted on to push back against the corporate takeover of our schools," she said. "While T.J. and I take different approaches toward our goals, I know that he will work tirelessly to look out for Madison area students."

Mertz, an Edgewood College history instructor and local education blogger, said he will continue reaching out to voters and participating in candidate forums.

"I wish the voters had a campaign where they had choices, but if you're an elected official it's important to go out and make your case," he said.

Mertz said he's most concerned with targeting students with the most needs in future budgets and limiting use of standardized tests. He also wants to educate voters about the impact Gov. Scott Walker's state budgets have had on the school district and what the district can and can't do about it.

Despite Manski's decision to drop out, Mertz' victory is not assured. If Manski outpolls him, the seat would be declared vacant, according to Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney. In that case, the School Board would appoint a member until a successor can be elected at the next nonpartisan election in April 2014, he said.

Asked whether Manski should have disclosed the possibility of a move before the primary, Mirilli said she didn't know enough about the situation to comment.

"I am a big supporter of the democratic process, and I think everyone should know what the candidates' availability is," she said. "But things happen in people's lives."

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(37) comments

Norwood44
Norwood44

Madmen. You suggested slander. It wasn't. Teacher support means union support. An issue for many. Don't play naive. It's unbecoming.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

This story sure got moved off the front page in a hurry.

James333
James333

Our kids deserve better than this. Welcome to the permanent Achievement Gap.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Madman. Still suggesting my post regarding Mertz was slanderous? Hello?

MadMan
MadMan

Sorry NOrwood44, I don't spend all day (or even every day) on the internet.

So let me see if I get this straight. Mertz says he has support from teachers. You decide this makes him "the candidate of the teachers." Which I suppose is technically true, but then is he not a candidate of housewives business men, firemen, policemen, janitors, whatever job any one who votes for him has? Of course it would sound say that is "he is a candidate of the private security guards" (or whatever),.but that's what you did here.

The actual facts here is that MTI has endorsed a candidate in both the other races, but did not endorse Mertz. Have fun spinning that into your little narrative, the "candidate of the teachers" does not get an endorsement form MTI, but the other candidates do?!?

Parting thought ... you seem to count teacher support as an absoute negative. So that means the ONLY candidates for the board that you like are the ones that every teacher hates? Your idea of a qualification for a management job is that 100.00% of the employees hate them? LOL, that is absurd of course ... but no more absurd than how you twisted Mertz's words into a meaning he did not intend, and -- I'm trying to be charitable to you here -- I suspect you are not the giant moron you'd have to be to actually take them that way. You just pretend you do, for purpose of the rhetorical games you like to play here.

kashka-kat
kashka-kat

Buh bye! Dont let the screen door hit ya.

Can we get a do-over - I mean, seriously! This is ridiculous. I read the statements of all three candidates prior to voting., and something about Mirilli sounded authentic and honest, while the other two had that vacuous, career politician feel - not really saying much of anything

mister_a_in_madison
mister_a_in_madison

Exactly the way I felt.

Why does Ms. Manski's name have to appear on the ballot if she's withdrawn? The ballots have already been printed?

Word
Word

Exactly the way I felt. It may be that Manski's name has to stay on the ballot for whatever reason. Those of us who are feeling cheated should cast a write in vote for Mirilli. By circumstance or intent, she was cheated out of a place on the ballot, and we were cheated out of a true race for this seat.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Man. So I was wrong. The quote wasn't "candidate of teacher"but rather "backed by teachers". Same message, different words.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Man. From CT morning after primary "I’m hoping to have a lively debate in the general election because I think there are some major differences between us. Sarah Manski went to her first School Board meeting in December. ... She is not prepared for this job. She is backed by politicians. I am backed by teachers," he said.

Manski touted her endorsements from a plethora of local politicians and called Mertz’s accusation "sexist and condescending."

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/madison-school-board-sarah-manski-t-j-mertz-will-face/article_6d2c5416-7b1a-11e2-a6b3-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2LdsZpHX9

MadMan
MadMan

Norwood44: When did TJ Mertz say he was the "candidate of the teachers?" You say it is "self-proclaimed" and then you put it in quotes, so you clearly said he uttered those words.

This is an honest question, maybe he did say it. I just find it unexpected, knowing what Mertz has said in the past. Please give us all the reference, thanks. When I google

mertz "candidate of the teachers"

the only hit I get is your comment here. Maybe google search hasn't indexed it, or maybe it was never published on the internet? Please let us know the provenance, or we will be forced to presume it is unfounded slander on your part.

toobad
toobad

Well MTI Almost had their insider on the School Board.

cornflower
cornflower

I'd say, "good riddance!" "Things happen....." And people know that things could happen and base their actions on the possibility that things could happen. Because things happen because people make them happen.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Manski's cynical manuever kept a woman of color off the ballot. For a candidate to be backed by Madison's most powerful, white political elite at the expense of a voice for the city's growing minority population is suspicious and shocking. To be left with gadfly Mertz, a self-proclaimed "candidate of the teachers" and opponent of efforts to address the gap is just plain wrong. How can this not be seen as a bare-fisted move by hardline union supporters to squelch minority voices in Madison? Appalling. How we can address the gap and its attendant issues without strong voices from the very communities that understand the problems most? This is so not a good thing.

MadMan
MadMan

What's going on over at the Manski campaign Facebook page is interesting to watch. Someone appears to be deleting critical posts -- even the polite ones -- as fast as they appear, they only last a couple minutes at most.

I think we all dodged a bullet here, no matter what your political leanings.

Word
Word

@Richard SRussell Don't know if Murilli is feeling housed, but the rest of us should be. What a waste of opportunity for debate and choice. Especially if PD Mertz is the big prize.

Norwood44
Norwood44

This smells bad. It kept Mirrilli off the ballot.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

So Thursday morning Sarah first learned her husband was considering moving from Madison. From their modest little house on the near West side. But, but, I had the troops Mr. Manski employed from one wisconsin now ringing my doorbell telling me how enthused they were. From the protests at the Capitol. Telling me how the Republicans were going to make people pay to vote in Wisconsin. That was my favorite - "We were energized at the protests from Ben Manski! Do you know who he is?" Yes, I know he lives really close to me. I know the exact house. He's got a big red liberal beard. You know, the Manski's who have no kids. But she cared enough about the kids in Madison to run for school board. Until she was shocked Ben had been applying for jobs. In California. Bye Bye Green Party Socialists! The best part.. is Ben Manski couldn't beat Hulsley who pushes over kids on the beach!

Norwood44
Norwood44

Wow. What a telling snapshot of Madison today.

BluesBird
BluesBird

To:
- Sarah Maski's supporters including Paul Soglin, School Board Vice President Marj Passman, County Clerk Scott McDonell, state Reps. Terese Berceau, Peter Barca and Robb Kahl, former Rep. Spencer Black, state Sen. Chris Larson, former School Board members Nan Brien and Anne Arnesen, as well as the Green Party, Progressive Dane, and Congressman Mark Pocan.

- All those who contributed their hard earned dollars to Manski's primary campaign.

- Ananda Mirrilli who'd be running against TJ Mertz in the general election if Manski had dropped out three days ago.

Nevermind.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

An urgent and current voice, Ben Manski’s work has taken him from farm fields to forest blockades, labor struggles to independent politics, clinic defense to legal defense, and to every region of the country. Internationally recognized to be among the most innovative of the new generation of U.S. progressives, Manski is best known for his efforts to build a new democracy movement in the United States.

IN CALIFORNIA!

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

That's funny. I remember chaining myself to trees as part of Judi Bari's Redwood Summer campaign so many years ago. I went out west and fought the good fight, I was willing to die in order to protect those trees, an quite frankly, I still am. Just like they told me to. I remember Ben Manski. I didn't follow his leadership and now 20 years later, I ended up in the same town as he did and now I am on the other side of the aisle. It's really a shame that we can't put forth the effort that we once were so proud of to simply elect a new school board member.

Lionhear
Lionhear

"a new democracy movement in the United States'--read socialist/progressive.

Mr_Deeks
Mr_Deeks

In a sense, Magnus has it right; six one way, half dozen the other.

MagnusP
MagnusP

I doubt it matters who is on teh ballot. Just a bunch of liberals looking for ways to protect the union, spend money on teh wrong items and, oh yes, hiring administrators they can blame for bad board policy and direction.

Word
Word

This is outrageous. She couldn't wait a year to run? What a jerk. And right after the primary?

Enjoy Mertz. Hope he is more than ethically challenged.

outlander
outlander

First your superintendent candidates, now board members? New math Madison style: 2 = 1

Norwood44
Norwood44

Hmmm. And she didn't know this before the primary? Really?

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

That was my first thought.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

FOXNEWS is reporting that it's one of three things;

*It's been discovered that her 'hired help' was here illegally.

*She was Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D-Joliet Prison) campaign funds dispurser.

*She helped Bob Menendez (D-Perverted Pedophile) with his Dominican Republic 'Youth Initiative.'

Or it could be that she had an attack of conscience (virtually unkown in Lefty circles) and could no longer stand the hypocrisy of asking for more funds while pretending she really thought it would make a difference.

The Gotch

dennisg1325
dennisg1325

Yes, Joe. That's probably why her husband wants to move to California. Oh, and welsome to the pre-school logic forum.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Why is her name going to remain on the ballot? With the number of low info voters out there, this could get interesting.

Queen123
Queen123

It's unfortunate TJ started the smear attack on her immediately after she won the primary. I would have thought that the whole Kelda Helen Roys campaign would have taught him a lesson about negative campaigning.

modotti
modotti

Mertz did not start a smear campaign, that is simply wrong

modotti
modotti

So some folks got Sarah Manski to run for school board because they were trying to paint Ananda Mirilli as incapable of thinking for herself (way to go, Ben Manski, btw, you and your wife have shown yourself to be more about the Manski brand than anything resembling a real commitment to Madison's schools); then Manski has to actually talk about schools and shows herself to have very little local knowledge (the forum at the Urban League the other night showed her to be woefully uninformed, it was sad to watch); then she wins and then she just "finds out" that her husband got into grad school -- highly doubtful

seems like something else is going on


I say take her name off the ballot

how ridiculous

JoeBiteme
JoeBiteme

She's probably a tax cheat.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Congratulations, TJ.

I imagine Ananda Mirilli is feeling kinda hosed right now, tho.

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