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Columbia Board of Education approves April 4 ballot language without Basye’s name

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia Board of Education approved the ballot for the upcoming school board election without the name of a former state representative who is suing the school district.

In a special work session Monday night, Columbia Board of Education members approved the removal of Dean Klempke from the ballot, but no word on adding former Rep. Chuck Basye's name. When ABC 17 News asked about Basye, the board said it cannot comment on pending litigation.

An initial hearing in a former state representative's lawsuit against Columbia Public Schools to get his name on the April election ballot has been set for Tuesday.

The initial hearing set for Monday in Chuck Basye's lawsuit was canceled after the school district and school board were granted a change of judge. Basye's lawyer, Brent Haden, filed a motion Monday for an emergency hearing before the new judge.

The new hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The deadline for CPS to submit its election slate to the County Clerk is Tuesday. Basye is asking for an order to force CPS to put his name on the ballot.

The lawsuit comes after Basye claims he was not added to the list of candidates for Columbia Board of Education election on the April 4 ballot. 

CPS previously said if Basye did not make an appointment to file on Dec. 27, which he needed to do because schools were closed for the holidays.

CPS spokesperson Michell Baumstark said the district's policy and filing procedures were posted on its website and buildings. Candidates who wished to file on that day needed to make an appointment by 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22.

The petition claims Basye sent an email to Board of Education Secretary Noel McDonald and Superintendent Brian Yearwood expressing intent to file a declaration of candidacy "on or around December 25, 2022." The petition claims Yearwood told Basye that his candidacy would be accepted.

The lawsuit claims that the school and board “acted in a clearly illegal manner in violation of Missouri law.”

Basye's lawsuit claims CPS does not have discretion on restricting when a candidate can file, as long as it is before the Dec. 27 deadline.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon on Friday filed an application to intervene in the case.

Lennon argues that Basye’s petition filed with the clerk’s office should not be considered because the office does not accept filings with school board candidates for CPS. She says other counties do accept filings for school districts.

Instead, those filings are made with the local political subdivision, such as school district offices. Lennon claims this would allow candidates to “circumvent the political subdivision if they do not like the filing procedures."

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Kennedy Miller

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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