By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The filing deadline for the April election is just around the corner.

Board of education candidate registration forms can be picked up at the Ellis County Clerk's Office, and must be returned by noon Jan. 27, according to Ellis County Deputy Clerk Bobbi Dreiling.

Four Hays USD 489 board of education members will be elected April 7 with their four year terms to begin in July. Those positions currently are currently filled by James Leiker, Marty Patterson, Greg Schwartz and Sarah Rankin,

Leiker is completing his first term on the board, and currently serves as board president. He lost an election bid in November for 111th District Representative to incumbent Republican Sue Boldra.

Patterson, also completing his first four-year term, serves as board vice-president.

Schwartz was first elected to the board in 2003, and Rankin was appointed in April to fill Darren Schumacher's unexpired term.

Rankin is planning to file for one of the open positions.

"I would like to know that my continued service is the result of a vote of confidence by the community," she wrote in an email.

Leiker and Schwartz haven't announced yet whether they are running, and Patterson didn't return phone calls for comment.

Any person who is a qualified elector of the unified district may petition to be a candidate, according to the legal publication in Sunday's Hays Daily News.

Candidates can file a petition signed by at least 50 qualified electors residing in the school district or paying a filing fee of $5.

"We do the verification," Dreiling said.

Patrons of Victoria USD 432 will go to the polls to elect three board members. Kevin Huser, Don Pruitt and Shannon Radke currently hold those seats.

Ellis USD 388 patrons will elect four members. Those seats currently are held by Tracy Kinderknechet, Mark Polifka, Toni Younger and Gina Smith.

Though Rankin has indicated her interest in the Hays positions, no candidates have filed yet for boards of education.

A primary election, if one is needed, would be March 3. A primary will be held if one more double the number of open positions file for office. For instance, USD 489 has four open positions, so a primary will be held if nine or more people file for the vacancies.

Voters also will go to the polls April 7 for city elections.

In Hays, three city commissioner positions now filled by Mayor Henry Schwaller IV, Kent Steward and Ron Melleck, will be elected.

Three Ellis City Council positions currently held by Jolene Niernberger, Terry Redetzke and Ron Johnson and Mayor Lyle Johnston are up for election. The position of city treasurer, currently held by Faith Ann Scheck, also is up for election.

Victoria has two city council positions and the mayor on the ballot. Erica Dinges has filed for a seat on the Victoria city council.

In Schoenchen five city council positions and the mayor will be on the ballot.