A competitive Madison School Board Race?

Doug Erickson:

Madison School Board members Ed Hughes and Michael Flores said Thursday they’ll run for re-election — Hughes for a fourth term, Flores for a second.

Candidate filing for the seats began Thursday and ends Jan. 3. Terms are for three years.

Hughes (Seat 7) and Flores (Seat 6) are the only members of the seven-person board whose terms expire in 2017. Members are elected districtwide but must run for specific seats.

Hughes has run unopposed each of his prior three campaigns but appears to have picked up a challenger this time. Juvenile attorney Nicki Vander Meulen announced on Facebook that she plans to seek Seat 7. She could not be reached for comment.

The nonpartisan general election is April 4. If a primary is needed, it will be Feb. 21.

Hughes, 64, is a lawyer and former board president. He was very visible this fall advocating for a referendum — approved overwhelmingly by voters Nov. 8 — that will provide the district with more operating money. He has been a frequent and pointed critic of the state’s funding of public education and of many Republican-led education efforts, such as the expansion of the state’s private-school voucher program.