Bellingham School District elections (2013)

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2013 Bellingham School District Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Washington
Bellingham School District
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Two seats were up for election on the Bellingham Board of Directors. Seats in Positions 4 and 5 were on the ballot for the November 5, 2013 general election. Steven H. Smith defeated John H. Blethen for the Position 4 seat, while Scott Stockburger ran unopposed and won the Position 5 seat.

About the district

See also: Bellingham School District, Washington
Bellingham School District is located in Whatcom County, Washington
Bellingham School District is based in Whatcom County, which is situated along the border between the United States and Canada. The population of Bellingham was 80,885 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[1]

Demographics

Bellingham outperforms state averages for higher education achievement while lagging behind in median income and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (38.6%) exceeds the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Bellingham's median income at $39,299 while the state median income was $58,890. Bellingham had a poverty rate of 22.6% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Bellingham (%) Washington (%)
White 84.9 77.3
Black or African American 1.3 3.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.3 1.5
Asian 5.1 7.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.3 0.6
Two or More Races 4.3 4.7
Hispanic or Latino 7.0 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[2]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 55.4 41.4
2008 58.0 40.0
2004 53.4 44.6
2000 46.1 46.5

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[3]

Method of board member selection

The Bellingham Board of Directors consists of five members who are elected at-large to four-year terms. There was a primary for the Position 4 seat on August 6, 2013 while Position 5 did not have a primary because Scott Stockburger ran unopposed. Seats in Positions 1, 2 and 3 will be up for election in the November 3, 2015 general election.

Elections in Washington require candidates to pay filing fees equal to 1% of a position's annual salary. Board members in Bellingham can be reimbursed up to $4,800 for district activities but do not receive salaries, which eliminates the filing fee. Candidates were required to file nominating petitions by May 17, 2013 to qualify for the November ballot. Each candidate could also submit a photo and statement of 100 words or less by May 24, 2013 for the local voters' pamphlet.[4]

Elections

2013

[edit]

  • Steven H. Smith
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University
  • John H. Blethen
    • Graduate, Antioch College and Western Washington University
    • Owner, Whatcom Interiors

  • Scott Stockburger
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Hampshire College and University of Arkansas
    • Family physician

Results

General election
Bellingham Board of Directors, Four-year term, Position 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven H. Smith Incumbent 53.5% 14,725
     Nonpartisan John H. Blethen 46.5% 12,779
Total Votes 27,504
Source: Whatcom County Elections, "November 5, 2013 General Election," November 26, 2013


Bellingham Board of Directors, Four-year term, Position 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Stockburger Incumbent 100% 21,063
Total Votes 21,063
Source: Whatcom County Elections, "November 5, 2013 General Election," November 26, 2013
Primary

A primary was held on August 6, 2013 for the Position 4 seat on the board. Incumbent Steven H. Smith and challenger John H. Blethen advanced to the November 5, 2013 general election.

Bellingham Board of Directors, Primary, Position 4, August 6, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven H. Smith Incumbent 53.1% 6,904
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn H. Blethen 29.2% 3,791
     Nonpartisan Hue Beattie 17.7% 2,305
Total Votes 13,000
Source: Whatcom County Elections

Endorsements

The Bellingham Herald endorsed Steven H. Smith for the Position 4 seat ahead of the November 5, 2013 general election.[5]

Campaign finance

No contributions or expenditures were reported during the election, according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.[6]

Past elections

2011

Bellingham Board of Directors, Position 1, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCamille Diaz Hackler 100% 20,361
Total Votes 20,361
Source: Whatcom County Elections


Bellingham Board of Directors, Position 2, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKen Gass 100% 21,195
Total Votes 21,195
Source: Whatcom County Elections


Bellingham Board of Directors, Position 3, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKelly Bashaw 100% 20,883
Total Votes 20,883
Source: Whatcom County Elections

What was at stake?

Incumbent Steven H. Smith ran for a second term in the Position 4 seat against challenger John H. Blethen. Scott Stockburger won re-election to the Position 5 seat without opposition.

Issues

The district has experienced a 3.5% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012 while the district budget was cut by $1.5 million between 2011 and 2012. A major issue in the Position 4 race is the closure of Larrabee Elementary School slated for the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Smith voted along with three board members to close the school due to poor performance and long-term renovation plans for district schools. Blethen and Hue Beattie challenged Smith in the August 6, 2013 primary due to his vote on Larrabee Elementary. Stockburger was the lone vote to prevent Larrabee's closure and does not face opposition for his seat.[7]

Smith also faced a primary challenge due to his support for a $160 million bond on the November 5, 2013 ballot. The bond would support renovation of district facilities including $73 million for Sehome High School and a $17 million remodeling of district offices. Beattie believed that community involvement in renovation could bring down costs while Blethen argued for a more gradual renovation process that would not require a large bond measure.[7]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Bellingham Board of Directors election in 2013:[4]

Deadline Event
April 29, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions by mail
May 13, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions online or in-person
May 17, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions
May 24, 2013 Last day to submit photo and candidate statement for local voters' pamphlet
August 6, 2013 Primary day
November 5, 2013 Election day
November 26, 2013 Certification of vote results by county
December 5, 2013 Certification of vote results by state

Additional elections on the ballot

The Bellingham Board of Directors election shared the ballot with local and county elections. The November 5, 2013 ballot featured a bond measure totaling $160 million for school renovations and maintenance. Voters chose four members of the Bellingham City Council as well as a judge on the Municipal Court. The ballot featured two seats on the Port of Bellingham Commission. Residents of Whatcom County also selected four members of the County Commission. There were two statewide initiatives and five advisory votes on the November 5, 2013 ballot.[8]

See also

External links

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References