Chris Cunningham files unopposed to retain YPS board Post 3 seat

Rowe files candidacy, then withdraws in Post 5

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Post 3 YPS Board Member Chris Cunningham. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

By Traci Chapman

Contributing Writer

Two men filed Wednesday for open Yukon Public Schools’ board seats expiring in 2020 – but one dropped out a day later after learning he wasn’t eligible.

Post 3 YPS Board Member Chris Cunningham. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

Post No. 3 member Chris Cunningham filed on the last day of the three-day filing period at the Canadian County Election Board. As sole person to do so, that means he retains the position without need for an election.

After former third office board member Don Rowe submitted a candidacy application for the Post No. 5 seat being vacated by Rex VanMeter, Rowe on Thursday said via email he would have to withdraw because he was ineligible.

That’s because Rowe hasn’t lived within Post 5 boundaries for the required six-month period.

VanMeter previously said he would not continue his service due to business and personal commitments.

Cunningham, 41, was appointed to the Post 3 seat in August after Rowe vacated the office. Rowe was forced to resign because he moved out of the third district.

“I have been interested in the school board for a while – my kids have grown up in Yukon; I’ve lived in Yukon for 20 years,” Cunningham said at that time. “I was looking for a way to give back to the community and a city that’s been really good to me.”

During Monday’s board meeting, they announced yet another board member – Vice President Jeff Behymer – had resigned because a recent move made him ineligible to serve.

YPS officials and administrators appealed during recent school board meetings for anyone willing to serve to file. With Behymer’s – and now the anticipated vacancy in Post 5 – officials will need to fill those seats via appointment, they said.

Other YPS board members are President Leonard Wells and Clerk Suzanne Cannon.

School board members serve five-year terms. The YPS Board of Education regularly meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month in the YPS Administration Building, 600 Maple.