Update: Shaw resigned from his position on the school board effective noon, Aug. 27. He had planned to potentially bring a legal challenge against the recall petition, but ultimately told KRBD he resigned to spare the school board and the community a contentious fight.
Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board President Trevor Shaw will face a recall vote on the Oct. 2 local election after a petition was successfully certified by borough clerks on Friday, according to KRBD radio.
The recall petition claims that Shaw, as board president, broke the bylaws of the board by preventing a student representative from participating in a board discussion. The recall was initiated by Ketchikan High School paraprofessional Sid Hartley, who told KRBD that there were many reasons to bring the recall petition and that the issue with the student was the one they decided to focus on.
The other complaints, according to this earlier KRBD article, include “health insurance premiums, contentious teacher contract negotiations and an atmosphere that Hartley said discourages public participation at public meetings”
Shaw told KRBD that he’s considering bringing a legal challenge against the recall petition.
Shaw is filed to run in the Republican primary for House District 36, which covers Ketchikan and the surrounding area. Shaw has no primary opponent.
Shaw attended the 2016 Republican National Convention, and supported Republican gubernatorial Scott Hawkins through an independent expenditure campaign prior to Hawkins’ withdrawal from the race. He’s also the treasurer of another independent expenditure group, Alaska Free Market Coalition, which has supported Republican Sens. Pete Kelly, Mia Costello and Peter Micciche.
The seat is currently held by independent Rep. Dan Ortiz. Though Ortiz could have filed to run in the Democratic Party’s primary, he chose to take the independent path to the general election by collecting signatures for a nominating petition. Democrat Ghert Abbott is running alone in the party’s primary.
Shaw has so far raised $1,848.44 according to campaign finance disclosure reports that covered fundraising up until July 20. The last major campaign finance report before the primary is due tomorrow. During that period Ortiz, who is running outside of the primary system (even though he could have joined the Democratic Party’s Primary under new rules), has raised $23,510.20. Abbott has raised less than $200.
Prior to the election of Ortiz in 2014 the seat has long been held by Republicans, and the independent won a narrow margin of victory in the 2014 elections. He won a nearly 10-point margin of victory in 2016 when he faced a three-way race with two conservative candidates (a Republican and a Constitution Party candidate) even though his overall vote tally only increased by about 2 percent over 2014.
Voter registration in the district since the 2016 election has trended toward independents (as has most of the state under the automatic voter registration program tied to dividend applications).
The Oct. 2 local election will occur after the Sept. 4 deadline for candidates to withdraw and be replaced on the general election ballot.