MUSD board member Robert Downey poses with his wife, Jane, at his swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Kevin Vasquez

The Pinal County School Office has made the official announcement of the dates potential candidates for school district governing boards in Pinal County may file their signatures. According to PCSO, the Candidate Filing period begins Monday, June 13, at 8 a.m. and ends Monday, July 13, at 5 p.m. The filing location is the Pinal County School Superintendent’s office at 75 N. Bailey St. in Florence.

The seats currently held by Maricopa Unified School District president Robert Downey and former president Ben Owens are up for election in November.

Downey, the current MUSD governing board president, said he filed his statement of interest last week. Owens, the previous board president, did not respond to inquiries about whether he had filed his paperwork, or would seek re-election.

Two challengers have filed statements of interest: Edward Farrell and Darris Pedro, both of whom filed on Jan. 18.

Downey, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a retired Information Technology executive in the aerospace industry for major corporations including Allied Signal and Honeywell, and Farrell is a fourth generation, lifelong resident of Maricopa. Owens, originally from Fargo, ND, works in sales, and Pedro is a corporate surveillance system project manager at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino.

The Pinal County School Office’s official statement on filing procedures reads as follows:

“The Pinal County School Office is now accepting Candidate Statements of Interest from those individuals who want to run for Governing Board in the district in which they live. The Pinal County School Office has posted the list of open Governing Board positions that are open for election this year.

“Any eligible resident within the district who is interested in seeking office can pick up the required forms at the Pinal County School Office located at 75 North Bailey St., Florence AZ, or receive one by calling, writing or by email at the contact information provided below. The Filing Period is from 8 a.m. Monday June 13, to 5 p.m. Monday July 11. Forms are available on the Pinal County School Website at

“Candidates can begin collecting signatures once the Candidate Statement of Interest form has been submitted to the Pinal County School Office…Candidates must first file the Candidate Statement of Interest prior to collecting signatures.”

Candidate packets are available at the Pinal County School Superintendent’s Office in Florence. Those interested in filing to run for a governing board seat may contact the school office’s senior administrative assistant Mark Krumrey at, or call Krumrey at (520) 866-6565 for more information.