Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Van Meter out of BoE race

Incumbent Van Meter retiring from State Board of Education:
A member of the State Board of Education's conservative majority said Tuesday she would not seek re-election this fall.

Iris Van Meter, a Republican from Thayer, said in a statement she wanted "to spend more time enjoying my grandkids and helping my husband operate our orchard and market on the farm."

Van Meter was elected in 2002 in a stealth campaign in which she made few public appearances but defeated incumbent moderate Val DeFever of Independence.
Kent Runyan is running as a Democrat, Jana Shaver is running as a Republican, and the Star reports that Brad Patzer is also running in the Republican primary, though I don't know anything about him. If he isn't a conservative, expect a serious conservative to step in.

It remains to be seen whether Van Meter's retirement will make it easier for a moderate to win. She managed to avoid a heavy campaign last time, and she may be stepping aside for a stronger campaigner this time.