What school board candidates said in Ballotpedia’s candidate survey

Welcome to the Wednesday, October 4, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Thank you for being one of 3 million lifetime subscribers to Ballotpedia newsletters. We’re glad to have you among our growing readership. Did you know we offer 10 other newsletters on a variety of topics? Click here to browse our offerings.

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

  1. Both candidates for Jeffco Board of Education District 3 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
  2. Nevada voters may weigh in on proposed funding for Oakland Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas
  3. Biden issued two executive orders in September, bringing his total to 123

Both candidates for Jeffco Board of Education District 3 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both candidates for an open seat in Jeffco Board of Education District 3—Michelle Applegate and Thomas Wicke—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey.

The Jeffco School Board covers all of Jefferson County, Colo., located to the west and southwest of Denver. It is the country’s 44th-largest district in terms of student enrollment and Colorado’s second-largest, with approximately 77,000 students.

The Jeffco School Board has undergone a political realignment over the past decade. In 2015, the board had a conservative majority. Today, no Republicans are running, according to the county GOP.

In 2015, voters recalled three conservative board members. Recall supporters said the members violated open meeting laws, released student information without consent, and attempted to change the U.S. history curriculum. Opponents called the recall politically motivated.

The recall took place in tandem with two regularly scheduled elections. As a result, voters elected an entirely new school board with a teachers’ union-backed majority.

Since then, voters have elected candidates who received endorsements from the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA), a local teachers’ union, in all but one race, resulting in a current 4-1 union-backed board majority.

We ask every candidate who completes a survey to tell us their three key messages, the things they want voters to know about them. Here are the candidates’ responses. You can click on each name to view their full survey responses.


  • We must ensure strong, thriving public schools through a focus on student achievement and growth, replicating what works, and understanding the needs of our students, educators, and staff.
  • We can settle for nothing less than safe, secure schools, because we know learning happens best when everyone feels safe and a sense of belonging.
  • We can build trust through budget transparency, and use engagement, feedback, and data to make the informed decisions that drive us forward.


  • Jeffco has lost the trust of parents. Key to regaining it is transparent, open and proactive communication.
  • Fiscal integrity. The budgeted $55 million deficit (next 3 years) is unsustainable. Hold Jeffco accountable!
  • Academic achievement. Example: Only 30% of 7th graders meet MIN state standards. Unacceptable.

The JCEA endorsed Applegate last August. Wicke said he is proud not to have received an endorsement from the union.

In addition to District 3, Jeffco’s District 4 is also holding an election this year. In that race, the JCEA endorsed Erin Kenworthy. 

Both districts are open, meaning no incumbents are running.

Of the two outgoing incumbents, District 3’s Stephanie Schooley received a JCEA endorsement in 2019. District 4’ Susan Miller is the only board member without a JCEA endorsement.

Of the 26 people who have run in regularly scheduled elections for the Jeffco School Board since 2015, 14—or 54%—have completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Take a look at what they’ve said. Candidates marked with (w) won:

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Nevada voters may weigh in on proposed funding for Oakland Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas

On Sept. 6, Schools Over Stadiums launched a veto referendum campaign in Nevada against Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which designates $380 million in funding for a new baseball stadium in Las Vegas intended for the Athletics, the Major League Baseball team located in Oakland, Calif., since 1968.

The group has until June 26, 2024, to submit 102,362 signatures for the referendum, which would appear on the Nov. 5, 2024, ballot.

Lawmakers approved SB 1 in June with a mixture of Democrats and Republicans both supporting and opposing the bill in each of the state’s two Democratic-controlled chambers, as shown below.

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo signed SB 1 into law on June 15, saying, “This is an incredible opportunity to bring the A’s to Nevada … Las Vegas’ position as a global sports destination is only growing, and Major League Baseball is another tremendous asset for the city.”

Dawn Etcheverry, president of the Nevada State Education Association and Schools Over Stadiums, said, “Nevada’s priorities are misguided, and public funds should not go to a California billionaire for a stadium … The goal of Schools Over Stadiums is to right this ship and keep the focus on Nevada’s true priorities – our kids, our parents, and our educators.”

After Schools Over Stadiums filed its petition, opponents of the referendum filed a lawsuit, alleging the petitions do not include the full text of the referendum and include an inaccurate description.

Referendums and public votes on stadium funding are not uncommon, but they typically happen at the local level.

Earlier this year, voters in Tempe, Ariz., rejected three zoning and development proposals that would have created a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes, the city’s professional hockey team.

The last statewide measure on funding a pro sports stadium was In 1997. Washington voters approved a referendum, 51% to 49%, allocating funding to build a new stadium for the Seattle Seahawks. The football team had considered moving to southern California.

Before Nevada voters potentially weigh in on the matter, franchise owners will meet in November to vote on whether to allow the Athletics’ move to Las Vegas. According to Sports Illustrated’s Jason Burke, the owners are expected to approve the move.

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Biden issued two executive orders in September, bringing his total to 123

President Joe Biden (D) issued two executive orders in September, bringing his total to 123 since taking office in January 2021.

Looking at recent presidencies, Biden has the fourth-highest average at 45 executive orders per year, behind Bill Clinton (D) with 46, Ronald Reagan (R) with 48, and Donald Trump (R) with 55.

A century ago, presidents issued an average of more than 200 executive orders a year.

Here’s a look at the most recent executive orders:

  • Sept. 20: Addressing long-term recovery efforts following the Feb. 3, 2023, train derailment and subsequent chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, including cleaning up, assessing public health needs, and appointing a director under FEMA to coordinate efforts.
  • Sept. 29: Continuing the efforts of multiple federal advisory committees to Sept. 30, 2025, and amending several previous executive orders.

The most executive orders Biden issued in one month was 25 in January 2021, his first month in office. Biden has issued at least one executive order every month since, apart from November 2022 and January 2023, when he issued none.

Since the country’s founding, Franklin Roosevelt (D) issued the most executive orders, averaging 307 per year during his 12 years in office.

William Henry Harrison (Whig) issued no executive orders during his one month in office.

Three presidents issued only one executive order during their respective terms: John Adams (Federalist), James Madison (Democratic-Republican), and James Monroe (Democratic-Republican).

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