For the Oxford school board primary, cross-filing is the key

By Chris Barber

cbarber@21st-centurymedia.com

In the primary election for the Oxford School Board, the cross filing will make all the difference.

There are contested races for the Republican nomination in the at-large seat, Region II and Region III. But everyone who filed for a place on the ballot could end up on the November election ballot if those who have cross-filed to run on the Democratic ballot as well earn those nominations.

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Many of their positions were stated in the League of Women Voters guide to the primary.

Incumbent school board member Dominic Pirocchi is running for the Republican nomination for the at-large and Region II seats. Should he be nominated for both positions, he said he will run for both and will let the outcome of the November election guide his decision what to do.

This week he said his aim for a nomination for either position could face an uphill battle, however, because he is a supporter of having the board elected totally at-large. For that, he said, the local Republican committee is not backing him, and neither are the Democrats, but he believes his position gives voters more choices.

Pirocchi works in IT support and has stated his support of “students first.” He said he is aiming for efficient and effective education and wants to continue to hold the line on taxes as he did for the 2012-13 budget.

Pirocchi is being challenged for the at-large seat by Joe Starcheski, who has cross filed for the Democratic nomination as well.Starcheski said he believes in excellence and high quality in education. He said he wants to eliminate waste in the cafeteria by restoring local control, and wants local control over curriculum and standards.

Pirocchi is also being challenged for the seat on Region II by Stephen Gaspar. Gaspar is a current member of the school board and has cross filed on the Democratic ballot as well.

In the past, Gaspar has suggested that the board set athletic fees for students according to the actual costs of the sports in which they participate.

In summary, the scenario for Pirocchi is this: If he wins the Republican nomination for at -large, he will likely face Starcheski in the November election.

If Pirocchi wins the Republican nomination for Region II, he will likely face Stephen Gaspar in November.

If he loses either Republican nomination for at large or Region II, he will not be on the ballot for that seat in November.

Finally, in Region III, two candidates are both cross-filed for the nomination -- Shannon Wells and Rich Orpneck. Both of their names will appear on the Democratic and Republican ballots in the primary. The top vote getters on each ballot will compete in November, but if the same candidate comes out on top of both, then that person will be the sole candidate in November.

Wells has been a production manager and a member of the East Nottingham Planning Commission. Wells want to assist the board’s budget committee maintain the excellence with the budget it displayed this year. Wells also expressed the desire to establish continuity in academics, curriculum and technology in the schools and wants a solid security system.

Orpneck, a retired business manager, is calling for a balanced budget and oversight of expenditures. Like the other candidates, Orpneck is aiming to give the student body quality education.