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The Douglas County Republican Party announced its endorsement of the Elevate slate for Douglas County School Board on Oct. 19. A written statement said the move was a needed response to help "level the playing field," following the national teachers' union's $300,000 donation to the anti-reform candidates.
The Elevate slate is made up of Ryan Abresch, Debora Scheffel, Grant Nelson and Randy Mills.
"Initially, the (Elevate) candidates requested that the party not become involved because they did not want the race to be about politics," the statement reads.
The statement continues:
"We hope all Republicans in Douglas County will join us in support of these four who are fighting for greater educational opportunities in our schools, to expand vocational education, to respect the choices parents and families make, to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and to recruit and retain the best teachers for our schools.
"Make no mistake, voting for Leung, Schor, Holtzmann and Graziano will usher a new wave of radical liberal agenda into our schools."
School board elections in Colorado are officially nonpartisan contests.
On Oct. 20, the campaigns of the four anti-reform candidates — Anthony Graziano, Krista Holtzmann, Kevin Leung, and Chris Schor — released a joint statement via email in response to both the Douglas County Republicans' endorsement of the Elevate slate and a Republican committee's financial donations to a group supporting Elevate.
"We now have evidence that our opponents are supported by the same people who supported the past reform board members," the statement reads. " We also have solid evidence that reform policies have not improved the education of our students and have instead resulted in declining academic achievement, increased teacher turnover and a loss of trust with the Board of Education."
The county Democratic Party could not immediately be reached for comment on whether it would be endorsing any candidates.
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