Dover and ID politics!
Lining up for Dover seats
Potential candidate sees election as referendum on intelligent design
By JOSEPH MALDONADO
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Those interested in holding a seat on the Dover Area School Board have
until Tuesday to make their candidacies official with York County's
Office of Elections and Voter Services.
Seven board members are up for re-election and, as of Saturday, only
Alan Bonsell had confirmed publically that he is seeking a new term.
At least nine people have said they will run for the open seats on a
board that made a controversial decision last year to introduce
intelligent design into Dover Area High School's ninth-grade biology
But, as the deadline draws near, at least one man finds himself
questioning whether his candidacy could hurt efforts to get intelligent
design out of science class.
"If I see the (intelligent design) opposition list is in single digits,
count me in," said former board member Jeffrey Brown. "If there are more
than 10, I'm really going to have to think about whether my running
helps or hinders the cause."
On Oct. 18, the board voted 6-3 to have students exposed to the concept
of intelligent design, which, proponents say, is a legitimate,
scientific alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution.
Brown resigned over the issue saying the board had crossed a line when
it passed the change.
Back then, he and his wife, Carol "Casey" Brown, predicted the district
would be sued over the decision. His wife also resigned over the
In December, 11 parents did sue the district saying the theory's implied
religious connection violated their constitutional right to a separation
of church and state.
Soon after resigning, Jeffrey Brown said he was going to run again
during this year's election. He has said repeatedly he views his
candidacy as a voter referendum on the intelligent design debate.
But now he sees a potential problem. So many are outraged about the
curriculum change, he said, that there may be 20 people running on an
anti-intelligent design platform.
"If that happens, we'll split so many votes that none of us opposed to
the change will get elected," he said.
That's why Brown said he will wait until the last minute to submit his
petition and declare himself a candidate.
Both he and his wife have collected enough signatures to be eligible,
but Carol Brown has been reluctant to say whether she will run. "I still
don't know," she said Friday. "I'm still thinking it over."
At least five other candidates are running on a platform that includes
opposition to intelligent design. They have formed a group called Dover
C.A.R.E.S., which stands for Citizens Actively Reviewing Educational
"I think it would have been more proper in a world religion class or
something along those lines," Bernadette Reinking, a member of the
group, said. "Anywhere but in science."
Reinking said she would like to see the opposition group number exactly
seven. Jeffrey Brown said he admires the way the group has organized but
said neither he nor his wife have been contacted to join.
Who's in the race so far
So far, of the seven Dover Area School Board members up for re-election
only one, Alan Bonsell, has publically confirmed he is seeking a new
The others whose seats are up for election include Sheila Harkins, Eric
Riddle, Edward Rowand, Ronald Short and Sherrie Leber. All have been
advocates of "Intelligent Design Theory" in the biology classroom.
On Monday, the school board will vote on a replacement for Angie
Yingling, who resigned last month. That seat, too, will be up for
re-election this year.
Yingling, who opposes intelligent design, has said she plans to run
again. Also planning to run are former board member Jeffrey Brown, who
also opposes intelligent design, and Mike Arnold, who has not publically
taken a position on the issue.
Five people in a group calling themselves Dover C.A.R.E.S. Citizens
Actively Reviewing Educational Strategies have also committed to
running. They are Bernadette Reinking, Terry Emig, Bryan Rehm, Rob
McIlvaine and Judy McIlvaine. All are against intelligent design being
offered in any science classroom, though they are not against it being a
part of another course.
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