Tagschool board elections

One incumbent defeated in Beloit School District primary election

Eleven candidates for the Beloit School District school board in Wisconsin competed in a primary election on Feb. 15, 2022. The top eight finishers advanced to the April 5 general election. Four of those general election candidates will win seats: the three with the most votes will serve full three-year terms, and the candidate with the fourth-most votes will serve a one-year term.

Incumbents Megan Miller and Gregg Schneider, as well as Brian Anderson, Torie Champeny, Katherine Larson, Ryan McKillips, Christine Raleigh, and J’Juan Winfield advanced to the general election.

The other incumbent running for re-election, Allison Semrau, missed advancing from the primary by 92 votes. The other two candidates to not advance were DeVon McIntyre and Matthew Windmoeller-Schmit. A fourth incumbent, Joyce Ruff, did not run for re-election.

Between the 2016-17 and 2020-21 school years, enrollment dropped from 6,943 students to 5,923 students, resulting in a loss of approximately $10 million in student aid for the district. In information candidates shared with Beloit Daily News, the majority of the non-incumbent candidates mentioned declining student achievement rates as a key reason they are running. Several candidates suggested interviewing parents of children who had left the district to try and address issues leading to the decreased enrollment.



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #2

On the issues

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues school board members deliberate when they set out to offer the best education possible in their district.

The debate over masking in classrooms

CNN opinion columnist Jill Filipovic writes that the CDC needs to stop promoting the generalized recommendation for continued mask-wearing in schools. Instead, the CDC should offer a clear formula based on case, hospitalization, and vaccination rates for when school mask mandates should be lifted or reinstated.

Kylee Zempel, an editor at The Federalist, says that scientific data on the effectiveness of masks in schools has not changed in recent months. She says leaders ignored the data and silenced conservative views. Zempel says recent changes to school mask policies have been politically, not scientifically, motivated.

In some blue states, masks are coming off — but not everyone is ready | Jill Filipovic, CNN

“What we need is not just clear guidance for the here and now, but a clear formula for when mask mandates should lift, where they should lift, and when they may need to be reinstated. Covid-19 is not a static disease, and public health guidance should evolve as the disease does…

But when case rates are significantly down, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed and community vaccination rates are high, it’s time for a reprieve. Students and staff should be able to unmask in these conditions.

Whether that moment is now is above my pay grade. It shouldn’t be on lay people, from CNN columnists to state governors to Twitter warriors, to be making these imperfect calculations. We need the CDC to step up and offer a clear and sensible formula instead of generalized guidance. And we need to start thinking about Covid-19 the way we do about other threats to our lives and health: focus on risk-reduction measures that are specific and targeted, and aimed at allowing us to live our lives balancing, as best we can, public health, pleasure and freedom.”

Science On Covid And Kids Hasn’t Changed, Only The Politics Has | Kylee Zempel, The Federalist

“None of the recent goalpost-shifting has been the result of some huge scientific breakthrough.

You also knew based on elementary-level reasoning that if a certain mask affords any protection from an airborne virus, it must logically protect the wearer, not merely the bystanders. Not to mention, you did your homework and knew those flimsy cloth masks required by petty government and school diktats were not stopping the spread. Both opinions were scoffed out of polite society but are now acknowledged as true because circumstances, they are a-changin’.” 

School board update: filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications

Ballotpedia has historically covered school board elections in about 500 of the country’s largest districts. We’re gradually expanding the number we cover with our eye on all of the roughly 14,000 districts with elected school boards.

Election results from the past week

On Feb. 15, we covered four school board recall elections in California and Nebraska and a primary election for four at-large seats on the Beloit School District school board in Wisconsin.

San Francisco Unified School District recall

Voters recalled three members of the San Francisco Unified School District. Click here to read more about the recall’s background. 

Gabriela López: Voters approved the recall election against Lopez 75% to 25%. 

Alison Collins: Voters approved the recall election against Collins 78.6% to 21.4%.

Faauuga Moliga: Voters approved the recall election against Moliga 72.1% to 27.9%.

López, Collins, and Moliga will not be removed from office until the county certifies the election results. Results are expected to be certified March 1. 

Giltner Public Schools, Nebraska, recall

Voters approved the recall election against Chris Waddle 62.1% to 37.9%. Waddle is the president of the Giltner Public Schools Board of Education. Click here to read more about this recall’s background.

Beloit School District, Wisconsin

Eleven candidates ran in the primary for four at-large seats. The top eight vote-getters advanced to the general election. Three incumbents ran for re-election—Megan Miller, Gregg Schneider, and Allison Semrau. 

One incumbent—Semrau—lost in the primary. The following candidates will appear on the general election ballot:

Megan Miller (12.7%)

Ryan McKillips (11.9%)

Brian Anderson (11.4%)

J’Juan Winfield (11.2%)

Torie Champeny (10.6%)

Christine Raleigh (9.9%)

Katherine Larson (8.6%)

In the general election, the three candidates with the most votes will serve full three-year terms, and the candidate with the fourth-most votes will serve a one-year term.

States with school board filing deadlines in the next 30 days

  • Texas: The filing deadline for one seat on the Fort Worth Independent School District school board is March 7. The election for a three-year unexpired term takes place on May 7. A runoff, if necessary, is scheduled for June 18.

Upcoming school board elections

Schools in the following states will hold general school board elections on April 5:

  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Wisconsin 

We’ll bring you more on those elections in future editions. 

School board candidates per seat up for election

An average of 2.77 candidates are running for each school board seat within our current coverage scope whose filing deadline has passed, up from 2.62 candidates per seat on Feb. 9. This is the most candidates per school board seat since at least 2018.

School mask requirements

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve tracked how states have responded to the virus’ effect on public education. Today, we’re taking a look at the status of school mask requirements as of Feb. 15.

  • Thirteen states and Washington D.C. require masks in at least some schools. Of those 13 states, 11 have Democratic governors (Washington D.C. has a Democratic mayor) and two have Republican governors.
    • California
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Hawaii
    • Louisiana (required for some schools)
    • Maryland (required for some schools)
    • Massachusetts (required for some schools)
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico (required for some schools)
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Rhode Island
    • Washington
    • Washington D.C. 
  • Seven states have banned school mask requirements. All seven states have Republican governors.
    • Florida
    • Iowa
    • Oklahoma
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
  • The remaining 30 states leave mask mandates in schools up to local authorities. Of those 30 states, 26 have Republican governors and four have Democratic governors. 

How have those numbers changed since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year? On Aug. 5, 2021, 10 states required masks in schools, eight states banned school mask requirements, and 33 states left mask requirements in schools up to local authorities.  

Over the last several weeks, several governors and state agencies announced changes to mask requirements in K-12 public schools. Here’s a roundup of the latest news:

February 10

  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D)lifted the statewide school mask requirement, transferring authority for mask decisions to local jurisdictions.

February 9

  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley announced the state would end its school mask requirement on Feb. 28.
  • Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced that, if the legislature votes to extend his emergency powers, he would end the school mask requirement on March 4.

February 7

  • The Oregon Health Authority announced it would end the statewide school mask requirement on March 31. 
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced he intended to end the statewide school mask requirement on Feb. 28.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced the school mask requirement would end on March 7.
  • Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) extended the state’s school mask requirement, but said it would expire on March 31.

Take our Candidate Connection survey to reach voters in your district

Everyone deserves to know their candidates. However, we know it can be hard for voters to find information about their candidates, especially for local offices such as school boards. That’s why we created Candidate Connection—a survey designed to help candidates tell voters about their campaigns, their issues, and so much more. 

In the 2020 election cycle, 4,745 candidates completed the survey. 

If you’re a school board candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey.

The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

And if you’re not running for school board, but there is an election in your community this year, share the link with the candidates and urge them to take the survey!



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #1

Welcome to Hall Pass. This newsletter keeps you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and governance. Each week, we bring you sharp commentary and research from across the political spectrum on the issues confronting school boards in the country’s 14,000 school districts. We’ll also bring you the latest on school board elections and recall efforts, including candidate filing deadlines and election results.

Subscribe here!

On the issues

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues facing school board members. 

The debate over who gets to decide what’s age-appropriate and what’s necessary in classrooms

Below, Margaret Renkl, a New York Times opinion columnist, writes that the McGinn County, Tennessee, school board’s decision to remove the book Maus from its eighth-grade curriculum is a form of book banning. She says this indicates a nationwide effort to undercut local school board power and threatens public education.

Mark Hemmingway, a Senior Writer at RealClearInvestigations, writes communities should have the ability to decide what meets their standards of acceptability. Hemingway says the national media’s coverage of McMinn County’s removal of Maus has politicized the issue and is taking power away from local school boards.

In Tennessee, the ‘Maus’ Controversy Is the Least of Our Worries | Margaret Renkl, New York Times

“Still, it is possible to trust that the parents in McMinn County are acting in what they believe is the best interest of their children, and also to recognize that these parents are being manipulated by toxic and dangerous political forces operating at the state and national levels. Here in Tennessee, book bans are just a small but highly visible part of a much larger effort to privatize public schools and turn them into conservative propaganda centers. This crusade is playing out in ways that transcend local school board decisions, and in fact are designed to wrest control away from them altogether.”

In Tennessee, the ‘Maus’ Controversy Is the Least of Our Worries | Margaret Renkl, New York Times

Parental Input on Education Is Not ‘Book Banning’ | Mark Hemmingway, Real Clear Politics

“I don’t take concerns about book banning lightly. … However, I’ve also spent more than a decade on the board of a private school, and decisions about what’s taught in K-12 classrooms and what ends up on school library shelves isn’t a tidy free speech issue. When the national media suggest that parents, administrators, and teachers are censors – or, worse, are “banning” books – by making necessary decisions about what reading material is age-appropriate or meets community standards, more often than not these news outlets are the ones politicizing education.”

Parental Input on Education Is Not ‘Book Banning’ | Mark Hemmingway, Real Clear Politics

School board update: filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications

Ballotpedia has historically covered school board elections in about 500 of the country’s largest districts. We’re gradually expanding the number we cover with our eye on all of the roughly 14,000 districts with elected school boards.

Election results from the past week

On Feb. 8, we covered eight school board primary elections in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, winners in primary contests are determined by majority vote. The top two candidates participate in an April 5 general election if no candidate wins a majority in the first round of balloting.

Twenty-one Oklahoma school board elections within our coverage scope were canceled due to lack of opposition. In 2020, 24 school board primary elections were canceled due to a lack of opposition. 

Union Public Schools Board of Education Zone 2

Edmond Public Schools Board of Education District 2 

Edmond Public Schools Board of Education District 5 (special election) 

Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education District 7

Catoosa Public Schools school board Number 2

  • Stefan Swaggerty won the election outright with 52.4% of the vote. Swaggerty defeated three other candidates.  

Mustang Public Schools Board of Education Seat 2

Piedmont Public Schools school board Number 2

  • Katie Cornman won the election outright with 55.1% of the vote. Cornman defeated two other candidates.  

Broken Arrow Public Schools Board of Education Zone 2

  • Debbie Taylor won the election outright with 51.7% of the vote. Cornman defeated three other candidates.

States with school board filing deadlines in the next 60 days 

  • Texas: The filing deadline for one seat on the Fort Worth Independent School District school board is March 7. The election for a three-year unexpired term takes place on May 7. A runoff, if necessary, is scheduled for June 18.

School board elections or recalls happening in the next 30 days

Ballotpedia’s staff is covering recall elections against four school board members in two districts over the next month. 

Feb. 15 recall elections

March, April, and May will bring primaries or elections in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin.

School board candidates per seat up for election

So far in 2022, an average of 2.62 candidates are running for each school board seat within our current coverage scope whose filing deadline has passed. This is the most candidates per school board seat since at least 2018. 

The Feb. 15 recall of three San Francisco, Ca., school board members

Three members of the San Francisco Unified School DistrictGabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga—face recall elections on Feb. 15.

Recall supporters said they are frustrated that schools in the district remained closed for nearly a year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Siva Raj, a parent who filed the notices of intent to recall along with Autumn Looijen, said, “We are parents, not politicians, and intend to stay that way. We are determined to ensure San Francisco’s public schools provide a quality education for every kid in the city.” 

Supporters are also upset the board spent time voting to rename 44 buildings in the district rather than focusing on opening schools. Raj said, “What we saw consistently was a pattern where the school board leadership focused on a lot of political stunts and symbolic gestures like trying to rename schools, and doing that ultimately badly.”

Moliga stood behind his record, saying, “The recall effort shows there is a group of parents that are frustrated with the school board. I am the first Pacific Islander ever elected in office in San Francisco, giving my marginalized community a voice in local government for the first time.” 

Collins said, “We can’t let people scare us. When I see certain people getting upset, I know I’m doing the right thing. If it’s people that have power and don’t want to share it, there’s people who want to make decisions without being inclusive, of course they are going to get upset.”

López characterized the recall against her as sexist, ageist, and racist, saying, “The people who are behind this don’t know us, they don’t know our work, they don’t know what we’ve been doing, they don’t know what we are dedicated to. They hear what’s out there and they recognize this is an opportunity to bring down someone who is me.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorsed the recall on Nov. 9, 2021. “Sadly, our school board’s priorities have often been severely misplaced. During such a difficult time, the decisions we make for our children will have long term impacts. Which is why it is so important to have leadership that will tackle these challenges head on. … Our kids must come first.”

So far in 2022, 24 recall efforts are underway against 64 school board members in Arizona, California, Nebraska, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Virginia. In 2021, we tracked 92 recall efforts nationwide against school board members—more than any year since 2006. The next highest was 38 recall efforts in 2010.

Take our Candidate Connection survey to reach voters in your district

Everyone deserves to know their candidates. However, we know it can be hard for voters to find information about their candidates, especially for local offices such as school boards. That’s why we created Candidate Connection—a survey designed to help candidates tell voters about their campaigns, their issues, and so much more. 

In the 2020 election cycle, 4,745 candidates completed the survey. 

If you’re a school board candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey.

The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

And if you’re not running for school board, but there is an election in your community this year, share the link with the candidates and urge them to take the survey!



Seven Oklahoma school districts hold primaries on February 8

Eight school board seats in seven Oklahoma school districts covered by Ballotpedia were up for nonpartisan primary elections on Feb. 8, 2022. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Apr. 5.

The districts holding primaries included Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Edmond, Mustang, Piedmont, Tulsa, and Union Public Schools. 

Three candidates won the election outright on Feb. 8 by earning more than 50% of the vote in the primary. Katie Cornman, Stefan Swaggerty, and Debbie Taylor won a seat on the board for Piedmont, Catoosa, and Broken Arrow Public Schools, respectively. Candidates advanced to the general election for the remaining five seats.

  1. In the Edmond Public School District, Courtney Hobgood and Cheryl Williams advanced to the general election for the District 2 seat. Incumbent Marcus Jones and Michael Grande advanced to the general in the special election for District 5.
  2. Robert Rader and Audra Tucker advanced to the general election for Seat 2 on the Mustang Public Schools Board of Education.
  3. Incumbent Chris McNeil and challenger Shelley Gwartney advanced to the general election for Union Public Schools Board of Education Zone 2.
  4. In the Tulsa Public School District, Susan Lamkin and Tim Harris advanced to the general election for the District 7 seat.

Primaries in 19 other school districts covered by Ballotpedia were canceled after fewer than three candidates filed to run for each seat up for election. Twenty out of the 28 Oklahoma school board races covered by Ballotpedia this year, which represents 71% of these races, were not competitive enough to include a primary. In 2021, primaries were canceled in 30 out of 35 races (86%). In 2020, 24 out of 30 races (80%) had canceled primaries.

The 26 Oklahoma school boards covered by Ballotpedia served a total of 267,432 students during the 2017-2018 school year.

Additional reading:



3 Nebraska school board members keep seats in Jan. 11 recall elections

The Waverly and Leyton school districts in Nebraska held recall elections on Jan. 11 against a total of three school board members. A majority of voters cast ballots against all three recalls, keeping the board members in office.

Ward 4 representative Andy Grosshans was on the ballot in the Waverly School District 145. Recall supporters said they began the effort due to Grosshans’ vote to extend an emergency resolution giving the superintendent the power to “develop rules and regulations deemed necessary for the government and health of the district’s students and devise any means as may seem best to secure regular attendance and progress of students at school,” according to The Waverly News. The school board initially passed the emergency resolution in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the board voted to extend the resolution through the 2021-2022 school year.

In response to the recall effort, Grosshans said, “For 12+ years, I have worked hard to make well-informed decisions to provide the students of District 145 with a safe environment in which to receive an outstanding education. In these difficult times, I hope for continued understanding and patience as we use key resources and area experts to do what’s in the best interest of all students.”

Recall supporters had until Oct. 30 to collect 88 signatures to put the recall against Grosshans on the ballot. A total of 548 voters cast ballots against the recall, while 116 voted in favor.

Suzy Ernest and Roland Rushman were on the ballot in the Leyton school district. The recall petitions listed the district’s increased legal fees since January 2021 as reasons for the recall against both Ernest and Rushman. The petition against Ernest said she took action without the full board’s approval on two items: placing the superintendent on paid administrative leave and signing an acceptance for asbestos removal. The petition against Rushman said he failed to follow the Board Code of Ethics and slandered district administrators.

In response to the recall effort against her, Ernest said her action to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave was authorized in the superintendent’s contract. Both Ernest and Rushman said the decision to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave occurred after the board received serious complaints. They said those complaints were the reason behind the district’s increased legal fees. Ernest also said that she signed the acceptance for asbestos removal under the direction of the then-interim superintendent.

To get the recalls against Ernest and Rushman on the ballot, recall supporters had to collect 138 signatures for each member. A total of 246 voters cast ballots against recalling Ernest, while 196 voted in favor. In the recall election against Rushman, 264 voters voted against, and 179 voted in favor.

Ballotpedia tracked 91 school board recall efforts against 235 board members in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In 2021, Ballotpedia covered a total of 346 recall efforts against 535 elected officials. This was the highest number of recall efforts and officials targeted since we started compiling data on recalls in 2012.

Additional reading:



Tracking school board elections by county population density

Ballotpedia tracked 96 school districts across 16 states that held elections on Nov. 2 where candidates took a stance on race in education, coronavirus responses, or sex and gender in schools. There were 310 seats up for election, and all but six have been called.

In each of the called races, Ballotpedia researched whether the winner incorporated a stance opposing any of the identified issues listed above. As a shorthand, we created these three categories: anti-CRT, not anti-CRT, and unclear.

Forty-seven of the 96 counties were located in dense counties, meaning those with population densities greater than 1,000 people per square mile. Thirty-four districts were located in moderate counties, with densities between 200 and 1,000 people per square mile, and 15 were located in sparse counties with densities less than 200 people per square mile.

Of the 47 school districts located in densely-populated counties, 21 (45%) elected at least one anti-CRT candidate on Nov. 2 compared to 13 of the 34 districts located in moderately-dense counties (38%). Twelve of the 15 districts located in sparsely-populated counties (80%) elected at least one anti-CRT candidate.

A further breakdown shows that, in districts located in dense and moderate counties, just under 30% of the winning candidates were identified as anti-CRT, roughly similar to overall trends. In the 15 districts located in rural counties, 21 winners (46%) were identified as anti-CRT and 18 (39%) as not anti-CRT.

Additional reading:



Recall election to be held Dec. 14 against Wisconsin school board member

A recall election against Gary Mertig, one of the five members of the Butternut School District school board in Wisconsin, is on the ballot on Dec. 14. Nate Pritzl filed to run against Mertig in the election.

Recall supporters said Mertig lied when he said community members would have input on the school district’s COVID-19 policies. Supporters said they were promised a meeting with all parties involved but that when the meeting was held, parents were not allowed to offer comments or ask questions.

Mertig said the community was allowed to speak at two out of the three meetings on the policies. The third meeting did not allow public comment because it was not listed on the agenda. “You have to be careful with the law. If it’s not on the agenda, you can’t talk about it,” Mertig said.

The recall petition required 126 signatures to be put on the ballot. It was signed by 130 residents of the district.

Mertig alleged that the way the recall signatures were collected violated state law. He submitted a letter to the Wisconsin Election Commission saying that at least eight residents who signed the recall were not witnessed by the petition circulator and that at least five people who signed were not residents of the school district. Mertig said those signatures should not have been counted, which would have stopped the recall election from being scheduled.

Wisconsin Election Commission Administrator Megan Wolf ruled that the recall election could proceed because Mertig did not file his complaints against the petition with the school district within the 10-day time period set by state law.

At the time the recall began, Mertig had been serving on the board for 31 years.

Ballotpedia has tracked 90 school board recall efforts against 233 board members so far in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 165 recall efforts against 263 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Additional reading:



Tracking school board elections by 2020 presidential results

Ballotpedia tracked 96 school districts across 16 states that held elections on Nov. 2 where candidates took a stance on race in education, coronavirus responses, or sex and gender in schools. There were 310 seats up for election, all but seven of which have been called.

In each of these races, once we knew the winner, we began to research whether he or she incorporated a stance opposing any of the identified issues listed above. As a shorthand, we have developed three categories in which a winner might fall: anti-CRT, not anti-CRT, and unclear.

Today we are looking at these results through the lens of which way their counties voted in the 2020 presidential election. Note that county and school board boundaries do not perfectly align. A county might contain multiple school districts. As a result, in this analysis, voters in a school district might represent only a portion of all the voters in the county in which it is located.

Of the 96 school districts we tracked, 65 are located in counties that Joe Biden (D) won in 2020 and 31 are located in counties won by Donald Trump (R). Overall, there were 60 counties with an identified school district.

Of the 65 school districts located in Biden counties, 26 (40%) elected at least one anti-CRT candidate on Nov. 2 compared to 18 of the 31 (58%) located in Trump counties.

A further breakdown shows that, in districts located in Biden counties, 50 anti-CRT candidates won (23%) versus 139 not anti-CRT candidates (65%). In districts located in Trump counties, 39 anti-CRT candidates won (44%) versus 30 not anti-CRT candidates (34%).



Baldon and Jones win Atlanta Public Schools runoff elections

Runoff elections for District 2 and At-Large District 7 of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) school board took place on Nov. 30, 2021. Aretta Baldon defeated Keisha Carey in the runoff election for the District 2 seat, 50.6% to 49.4%. Tamara Jones defeated KaCey Venning in the runoff for the At-Large District 7 seat, 66.9% to 33.1%.

Nine seats on the Atlanta Public Schools school board in Georgia—three at-large and six district seats—were up for general election on Nov. 2. Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 and At-Large Districts 8 and 9 were decided in the general election.

Baldon was the District 2 incumbent and ran against challengers Carey and Bethsheba Rem in the general election. Baldon received 48.5% of the vote and Carey received 29.5%, followed by Rem with 22%. At-Large District 7 was an open seat, as incumbent Kandis Wood Jackson did not seek re-election. Five candidates ran for the seat, with Jones receiving 39.5% of the vote, Venning receiving 20%, and candidates Patricia Crayton, Royce Carter Mann, and Stephen Spring receiving 15% or less.

With one-quarter of APS students enrolled in charter and partner schools, standards for renewing and expanding charter schools were a major issue in this race. COVID-19 response policies, including mask and vaccine mandates, were also an issue.

The 2021 election was the last election during which every board seat was up for election simultaneously, as Georgia’s HB 1075 changed the state’s school board election process so that members’ terms are staggered based on whether they serve in even or odd-numbered districts. Jones will serve a two-year term that will expire Dec. 31, 2023, and Baldon will serve a four-year term that will expire on Dec. 31, 2025.



Election results in Clallam County, Wa.

The cities of Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks, in Clallam County, Wa., held general elections for 26 municipal offices on Nov. 2. The primaries were held Aug. 3. The top two vote-getters in each race advanced to the general election. Races in which fewer than three candidates filed to run appeared only on the general election ballot.

Results of the races are pending. The Clallam County Auditor’s office releases updated vote totals on a daily basis until all ballots are counted. As of Nov. 5, the Auditor’s office estimated it had 50 ballots left to count and that it had counted a total of 27,045 ballots. Voter turnout was 47.31%.

Clallam County is located in the northwestern corner of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. It has the nation’s longest unbroken record of voting for the winning presidential candidate, going back to 1980. Since 1920, voters in the county backed the winning presidential candidate in every election except 1968 and 1976. 

Port Angeles

Port Angeles, the county seat, had eight offices up for election in 2021, including four city council seats and two seats on the school board. Six of those races were contested and two were uncontested. 

Incumbents were on the ballot in seven of the eight races, including in all four city council races. As of Nov. 5, all incumbents look to have won re-election. In two city council races, the margins separating the candidates are below 5% but the incumbents are leading in votes. 

Here are the results:

  • City Council Position No. 1: Incumbent LaTrisha Suggs faced challenger Adam Garcia. As of Nov. 5, Suggs leads Garcia by 2.54% (159 votes).
  • City Council Position No. 2: Incumbent Mike French defeated challenger John Madden, winning 58.92% of the vote to Madden’s 40.82%.
  • City Council Position No. 3: Incumbent Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin ran for re-election against challenger Jena Stamper. As of Nov. 5, Schromen-Wawrin leads Stamper by 1.87% (117 votes).
  • City Council Position No. 4: Incumbent Kate Dexter defeated challenger John W. Procter, winning 53.43% of the vote to Procter’s 46.28%.
  • School District Director Position No. 1: Incumbent Sarah Methner defeated challenger Lola Moses, winning 54.23% of the vote to Moses’ 44.97%.
  • School District Director Position No. 2: Mary Herbert defeated Gabi Johnson. Herbert won 56.98% of the vote to Johnson’s 42.64%.

Two seats up for election in Port Angeles in 2021 were uncontested: Port of Port Angeles Commissioner District No. 1 and Port of Port Angeles Commissioner District No. 2. Only the incumbents—Colleen McAleer and Steven Burke—filed to run. They were re-elected.

Sequim

Sequim had eleven offices up for election, including five of seven city council seats. Seven of those races were contested.

Incumbents appeared on the ballot in eight races, including in all five city council races. Five incumbents won re-election. Incumbents lost in three of the five city council races. 

  • City Council Position No. 2: Challenger Kathy Downer defeated incumbent Sarah Kincaid, winning 69.61% of the vote to Kincaid’s 30.23%
  • City Council Position No. 3: Challenger Vicki L. Lowe defeated incumbent Mike Pence. She won 68.17% of the vote to Pence’s 31.71%.
  • City Council Position No. 4: Incumbent Rachel Anderson defeated challenger Daryl Ness, winning 67.63% of the vote to Ness’ 32.25%.
  • City Council Position No. 5: incumbent Brandon Janisse defeated challenger Patrick Day, winning 65.86% of the vote to Day’s 33.86%.
  • City Council Position No. 6: Lowell Rathbun defeated incumbent Keith A. Larkin. Rathbun won 65.28% of the vote to Larkin’s 34.57%.
  • School District Director at Large, Position No. 4: Kristi Schmeck defeated Virginia R. Sheppard. This race is a multi-county race that includes both Clallam County and Jefferson County. Schmeck won 55.93% of the overall vote, while Sheppard won 42.72%.
  • Fire District #3, Commissioner Position No. 1: Jeff Nicholas defeated Duane Chamlee. This race is a multi-county race that includes both Clallam County and Jefferson County. Nicholas won 64.78% of the overall vote, compared to Chamlee’s 34.82%.

Four races in Sequim were uncontested. The Sequim School District Director District No. 2 was the only one that didn’t feature an incumbent. Patrice Johnston was elected to that seat. In the other uncontested races—Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 1, Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 2, and Sunland Water District Commissioner Position No. 3—the incumbents won re-election. Those incumbents are Ray L. Henninger, Frank Pickering, and Alan Frank, respectively.

Forks

Seven offices were up for election in Forks. Three of those races were contested.

Incumbents appeared on the ballot in six races, two of which were contested. All incumbents won re-election in Forks. 

  • Forks City Council Position No. 2: Clinton W. Wood defeated Josef Echeita, winning 65.98% of the vote. Echeita won 33.86%.
  • Forks City Council Position No. 3: Incumbent Joe Soha defeated challenger Sarah Holmes. Soha won 66.99% of the vote to Holmes’ 32.03%.
  • Forks Mayor: Incumbent Tim Fletcher defeated challenger Steve Wright, winning 84.6% of the vote to Wright’s 12.7%.

Four races in Forks were uncontested—Quillayute Valley School District Director District No. 2, Quillayute Valley School District Director District No. 4, Quillayute Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Position No. 1, and Fire District #6 Position No. 3. The incumbents—Kevin Hinchen, Ron Hurn, Donald Grafstrom, and Tom Rosmond, respectively—won re-election.

To read more about elections in Clallam County, including analyses of the county’s presidential and statewide voting record, click here.