Former legislator Rod Hall renews his challenge to perennially vacillating legislative aspirant and educational not-so-goodnik Joe Graves in a letter to the Mitchell Daily Republic. Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell school district, sent up trial balloons in 2004 and 2008 saying he wanted to run for Legislature. In 2008, Rod Hall, a former legislator and former member of the Mitchell school board, said he'd run against Graves if Graves threw in. Graves didn't run.
In Sunday's letter, Hall says his challenge stands: if Graves runs, Hall runs. Hall also says that Graves's seeking permission from the board to run is an unnecessary political ploy:
Graves correctly states in his response to The Daily Republic, “District employees have a right to run.”
Should Graves decide to run he simply notifies the board. No board action is required or is appropriate. Asking the board for a stamp of approval to run is getting a non-political school board involved in a partisan political election by asking for that board’s endorsement [Rod Hall, letter to the editor, Mitchell Daily Republic, 2013.09.28].
Hall is correct that Graves needs no permission to run. Graves needs his board's permission to rejigger his work schedule to ensure that he can fulfill his contractual obligations while campaigning and, if elected, legislating. Such permission wouldn't quite be an endorsement of his candidacy, but it would be a formal vote from an elected body that the candidate could use to rebut one key argument against his candidacy.
I won't hold Graves's conversations with his board against him: Graves and the Mitchell school board, like any other employee and employer, should have a clear conversation about the impact outside part-time employment will have on the effective performance of his duties. But if he does run, I look forward to Rod Hall's counter-candidacy to explain to the voters of District 20 why Joe Graves as legislator would be bad for K-12 education.