Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School Board candidates Laura Anderson, Lisa Brown and Robin Crossan defended their decision to campaign as a group Tuesday during a candidate forum sponsored by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs.
The candidates, who have been campaigning as the "ABCs for Education," share yard signs, advertising space and campaign fliers that highlight all three candidates.
"Before I would run, I wanted to know who else was running," said Anderson, who is challenging School Board member Jerry Kozatch for the District 5 seat.
"I wanted to know that it was a group that I could work with and respect that would be thoughtful and intelligent," Anderson said. "So, I held out my petition until I was sure who those people were because I believe in building partnerships."
Anderson said the three "ABC" candidates are running on different campaign platforms. Brown is running unopposed for the District 2 seat, and Crossan is challenging School Board member Char Rusk for the District 4 seat.
"We are not a political party," Brown said. "We are not out for a specific agenda, but we are sharing campaign resources, which are limited : the ABCs are three women who would like to represent the community in education."
Crossan noted she has worked with Anderson in the past.
"We have shared views in the past, and we sat down and agreed to respectfully disagree with each other," she said. "And we agreed if one or any of us would get on the board, we would support the whole board."
Kozatch and Rusk, who were both appointed to the School Board rather than elected, chose not to respond to whether the three challengers were running on a single platform. But Kozatch said in his opening remarks that he is "running in this election only representing himself."
"I am not part of any coalition or a group with a mission," he said. "My allegiance is with the community, not with any board - past or future."
Rusk was most outspoken about building an articulated curriculum and finding ways to assess "the whole of the child."
"The pendulum is shifting from standardized testing to a more broad approach," she said.