by David Safier
It was just a matter of time. TUSD school board member Mark Stegeman, who had his Precinct Committeeman status with the Democratic Party taken away because he actively supported Republican candidates (it's a violation of the bylaws) has declared himself an Independent. From his Facebook page:
I have changed my voter registration status to Independent. I appreciate all of my friends in the Democratic Party and have not changed my views on issues, but too much of the internal party discussion revolves around personalities and purely partisan issues instead of the policy choices that form the reason for the party.
Just to be clear, Stegeman could have kept his Democratic Party registration, but he could no longer serve as an elected officer—precinct committeeman is an elected position—of the Democratic Party. Becoming an Independent was purely his choice.
Stegeman contributed $1,200 to the TUSD school board campaign of Republican Debe Campos-Fleenor, and possibly an unspecified amount to Michael Hicks' campaign, to pay for someone to circulate nominating petitions. When I looked over the petitions the two campaigns submitted, I found he collected signatures for both candidates as well.