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Jerry Clark drops out of the 834 School Board race

While the ballot will contain his name, District 834 School Board candidate Jerry Clark suspended his campaign.

An opponent of Building Opportunities to Learn and Discover (BOLD), he wanted to avoid siphoning votes from candidates who oppose the closing of three schools and to not "water down the vote," Clark wrote in a blog post Oct. 21.

"As many of you know I am opposed to closing Marine, Oak Park and Withrow Elementary schools," Clark wrote. "In order to keep these schools open, all three open seats for next year must be filled with candidates who would like to halt progress on the BOLD initiative. As many of you know each of us can vote for three candidates. ... I feel keeping these schools operational is too important to let my ego get in the way of the greater good.

"I ask that you carefully consider your votes, being mindful of the consequences that closing these schools may have on the social fabric of this unique district."

Remaining candidates include incumbents Amy B. Burback of Stillwater and Michael B. Ptacek of Stillwater, and challengers Robert Craggs of Lakeland, Tom DeGree of Lake Elmo, Michelle Deziel of Lake Elmo, Chad H. Gamradt of Stillwater, Donald G. Hovland of Oak Park Heights, Jennifer Pelletier of Lake Elmo, and Sarah Stivland of Stillwater.