Oklahoma voters to decide 137 school board elections on April 4

Welcome to the Thursday, March 16, Brew. 

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Oklahoma voters will decide 137 school board elections on April 4
  2. A look at where things stand in the 2024 presidential race vs 2020 and 2016
  3. Listen to our interview with Kyle Kondik for On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

Oklahoma will decide 137 school board elections on April 4

Yesterday, we told you all about the landscape of this year’s school board elections. Approximately 24,100 school board seats in 35 states are up for election, and we’re expanding our coverage this year to cover roughly 8,750 school board seats in 3,211 school districts across 28 states.

Let’s dig into one of those states—Oklahoma, where voters will decide 137 school board elections on April 4.

These 137 general elections represent 24% of the 579 school board seats up for election this year in Oklahoma. For the remaining 442 seats (76%), the general election was canceled:

  • In 405 races, it was because only one candidate ran, meaning both the primary and general elections were canceled, and they won outright;
  • In 13 races, a candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the primary, eliminating the need for the general election; and,
  • No candidates ran in 24 races, creating vacancies that the school board must fill through an appointment or a special election.

Oklahoma held primaries on Feb. 14 for the 23 seats where more than two candidates ran.

While knowing who is on your ballot (and whether there’s even an election!) is an important first step, we want to provide you, our readers, with more information so you can better understand what these candidates will do in office.

To do this, we’re gathering and publishing endorsement information for any and all candidates running for these offices.

These endorsements can tell voters what a candidate stands for and help them decide before they go to the polls.

Here’s a sample of some of the Oklahoma endorsements we have identified so far:

  • Tulsa Public Schools: Tulsa County Moms for Liberty and the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association endorsed Jared Buswell, who is challenging Board President Stacey Wooley.

Many of these endorsements appear only in local papers and campaign materials. So, throughout this year, we are asking for your help!

Because we aren’t just covering every school board election in Oklahoma. We’re doing the same thing in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

If you know of any individuals or organizations who might endorse school board candidates in these 10 states, drop us a line. We will monitor whatever you send our way throughout the entire election cycle.

And if you know of any school board endorsements made in Oklahoma already, use the link below to share that information with us directly.

Candidate endorsement submission form (jotform.com)

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A look at where things stand in the 2024 presidential race vs 2020 and 2016

Now let’s take a look at where things stand in the 2024 presidential election and how it compares to where things stood four and eight years ago, when the 2020 and 2016 presidential races were also well underway.

Our tally of noteworthy 2024 presidential candidates currently stands at four Republicans and one Democrat, for a total of five. 

Here’s what each candidate has been up to this past week:

  • Author and 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) held campaign events across New Hampshire from March 8 to March 13. She also endorsed Cairnie Pokorney for Derry School Board in New Hampshire on March 12.
  • Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (R) campaigned in Iowa from March 8 to March 10 and held a rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on March 13. During a town hall in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on March 8, Haley said she favored raising the retirement age for younger Americans.
  • Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy (R) campaigned in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 11. He also published several op-eds. On March 8, he wrote an op-ed for the Daily Mail, and on March 12, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled “SVB Doesn’t Deserve a Taxpayer Bailout.”
  • Former President Donald Trump (R) campaigned in Davenport, Iowa, on March 13, marking his first official campaign visit to the state. Trump said he supported universal school choice, electing school principals, and eliminating the Department of Education. 
  • Former Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton (R) announced he would campaign in New Hampshire on March 15.

At this point in the 2020 cycle, 17 candidates had announced presidential campaigns. Sixteen had declared for the Democratic nomination, and one (Trump) had declared for the Republican nomination. 

Notable stories at the time included Beto O’Rourke’s (D) campaign announcement, Andrew Yang (D) reaching the donor threshold to participate in the Democratic primary debates, and the Democratic National Committee’s selection of Milwaukee to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The 2024 Republican National Convention will also be held in Milwaukee, along with the first Republican presidential primary debate.

In the 2016 election cycle, no noteworthy candidates had launched their campaigns as of March 16, 2015. The first announcement came on March 23 from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). 

At this point in the 2016 cycle, candidates who would eventually declare were still getting headlines. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hired new staff in preparation for a run, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) discussed fundraising with The Washington Post. Discussion of Hillary Clinton’s (D) private email server was also in the news.

As we’ve mentioned in previous editions, if history is any guide, we can expect most 2024 presidential candidate announcements to occur in the next few months. In the 2020 cycle, 87% (27) of the noteworthy candidates announced their campaigns by June 2019. And in the 2016 cycle, 77% (17) had by that time in 2015.

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Listen to our interview with Kyle Kondik for On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

On the Ballot, our weekly podcast, takes a closer look at the week’s top political stories.

In this week’s episode, host Victoria Rose interviews Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. In their conversation, Kondik and Victoria cover the state of the 2024 presidential election, where things stand in the race for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, and what to expect in the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 4—the most expensive state judicial election in U.S. history!. 

Remember, episodes of On the Ballot come out Thursday afternoons, so if you’re reading this on the morning of March 16, you’ve still got time to subscribe on your favorite podcast app before this week’s episode comes out! 

Click below to listen to older episodes and find links to where you can subscribe.

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