Pace will race, after all

James Pace, parent of two Gilroy students, will run for the GUSD school board in November 2012. 

The pool of candidates vying for one of four soon-to-be-vacant seats on the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education grew as of of Thursday.

James Pace, Director of Land Development for Pembrook Development in Morgan Hill and father of two children attending GUSD schools, filed for candidacy Thursday with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

He now joins incumbents Mark Good, Fred Tovar and Pat Midtgaard, who will also run in the November election. 

Pace, 39, made the final round of interviews alongside then candidate Pat Midtgaard, who was appointed over Pace in December 2011 to fill the vacant seat let by former trustee Francisco Dominguez.

After previously telling the Dispatch in July, “I don’t think the board position would be a good fit for my life right now,” Pace reconsidered his original position after attending an informational candidate session hosted by Board President Tom Bundros.

“I just went there to make sure someone good was running, and there was no one there,” he said, referring to the absence of non-incumbent candidates. “So I decided I had to step up.”

The former computer programmer has been involved with five school site committees, including the Rucker Elementary School Modernization Committee, serving as treasurer of the Rucker Elementary School Parent Club and chair of the Rucker School Site Council. Pace served for four years on the Measure P Bond Oversight Committee, and two years on the Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee.

Come fall, Pace will have one son attending Rucker and one daughter enrolled at Ascencion Solorsano Middle School.

“I think it’s important that citizens take their government seriously,” he said. “You gotta participate.”

GUSD trustee Dom Payne cast the lone vote for Pace during December 2011 interviews. With a 5-1 vote, the school board appointed Midtgaard – a former GUSD board member who served from 2004 to 2008.

The deadline for non-incumbents to file for candidacy has been extended to next Wednesday, since GUSD trustee and former Board President Rhoda Bress has confirmed she will not be running again.

Four seats occupied by trustees Rhoda Bress, Mark Good, Fred Tovar and Pat Midtgaard will open up in November. Three of those seats are four-year terms; the other is a two-year term occupied by trustee Midtgaard.

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