As of this writing, this is little known political news in Oshkosh, and certainly something that has not been covered by the media thus far, to my knowledge. While I’m happy to be the first to publicize it, I am dismayed to say that the general election on April 7 has become stranger and stranger, with the dropping out of one of the candidates for the Oshkosh Area School District’s Board of Education.
On Sunday, Feb. 15, Huma Malik sent an email to the district expressing her intent to withdraw from the race because of a heavier-than-expected school schedule, having recently gone back to college. I was told of this news on Feb. 19, but haven’t yet seen it anywhere, so thought I would take a moment to make the “announcement,” if you will.
Though she dropped out approximately six weeks before the election, Mrs. Malik’s name will still appear on the ballot, per state statutes. I will editorialize on this whole situation more in a future posting, but for now, just the news.
With her dropping out, that means that the three candidates running for school board will all, more than likely, get elected, as there are three seats open – unless of course, Mrs. Malik would garner enough votes to get elected herself. In that case, I believe the district would appoint someone to fill her seat.
Likewise, there are three seats open on the Oshkosh Common Council; and three candidates running. So unless someone would mount an ambitious and successful write-in campaign, all three candidates are shoe-ins for the available seats.
The only contested race is that of Mayor of Oshkosh – with Steve Cummings and Caroline Panske seeking the seat. However, as most, if not all know, the title of mayor is ceremonial only and gives the holder of that position no more power – voting or otherwise – than any other council member. Because Cummings and Panske both currently serve on the council, not much will change here with the election.
In all my years of observing local elections as a voter and citizen, and covering them as a reporter, I’ve never seen anything quite this unique, or strange. You can’t even really say “May the best candidate win,” because the way it stands now – in a manner of speaking, and in most of the races, they all will.