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Sarah Manski drops out of Madison school board race

Published On: Feb 21 2013 04:17:28 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 21 2013 06:35:09 PM CST
Sarah Manski
MADISON, Wis. -

Sarah Manski announced Thursday that she has dropped out of the race for the Madison Metropolitan School District's Board of Education.

The announcement comes two days after Manski won the most votes in the three-candidate school board primary race to replace Maya Cole. Manski got 46 percent of the vote.

Manski faced TJ Mertz and Ananda Mirilli in Tuesday's primary. Mertz finished second in the primary with 32 percent of the vote to advance to the general election.

In a letter to supporters Thursday, Manski said she is withdrawing from the race because she has just learned that her husband has been admitted to sociology Ph.D. programs in California, but not in Wisconsin or other nearby schools.

"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," Manski said in her letter.

Manski said she will not campaign in the coming weeks, and she urged her supporters to back Mertz.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board said the primary results are final and that Manski's name will still be on the ballot for the April 2 general election.

There could still be a write-in candidate for the race, but the GAB said Mirilli's name can't be added to the ballot.

The GAB said that if Manski would still happen to win the general election and didn't want to be on the school board, she wouldn't take the oath of office and a vacancy would occur. The board would fill that vacancy by appointment.

Mertz gave WISC-TV his reaction Thursday to the news of Manski dropping out of the race.

"I'm looking forward to serving, and I will be continuing to participate in the forums and continue to reach out to people because it's important for elected officials to be in touch with the people they are representing," Mertz said.

Mertz said he thinks the two most important issues for the school board will be the budget and the transition of hiring Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham.

He said winning this way "isn't bittersweet, just strange."

"I put in a lot of work for years around school issues. I don't feel like I didn't earn it," Mertz said.

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