The Republican Party of Minnesota is taking the rare step of backing candidates in four local school board elections Tuesday.
GOP officials are distributing sample ballots listing two preferred candidates in Inver Grove Heights, three in St. Paul, three in South Washington County and one in West St. Paul. They're also making financial contributions to the candidates.
GOP Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb says the party has been encouraging local activists to endorse school board candidates, and he thinks the practice could become more common across the state.
"Sometimes in the areas where there aren't endorsements, the decision has been made that it's probably best not to endorse," he said. "But in other areas, it's an asset. And local activists have decided that it's a benefit."
A spokeswoman for the Minnesota DFL says St. Paul is the only school district with DFL-endorsed school board candidates on the ballot this fall.