Darlene Blake

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Darlene Blake
Darlene Blake.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Des Moines School Board, District 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionSeptember 10, 2013
Term limitsN/A
High schoolRockford Senior High
Bachelor'sUniversity of Minnesota, Mankato
Master'sUniversity of Minnesota, Mankato
ProfessionPublic servant
Office website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Darlene Blake unsuccessfully ran for the District 4 seat on the Des Moines Board of Directors that was up for election on September 10, 2013. Blake was also a 2010 Republican candidate for the District 61 seat of the Iowa House of Representatives.


Darlene Blake resides in Des Moines, Iowa. Blake graduated from Rockford Senior High, which is not a part of Des Moines Public Schools.[1] She attended North Iowa Area Community College before receiving her B.S. and M.S. in Education from the University of Minnesota, Mankato.[1][2] She has been employed as a Senior Consultant for DBM (Drake, Beam, Morin, Inc.) and as a Staff Development Coordinator for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, along with having her own career coaching business, Darlene Blake Solutions.[3] In 1982, Blake made an unsuccessful run for Polk County Treasurer as a Republican, and then served from 1985 to 1988 as the Chair of the Polk County Republican Party.[2] Blake serves as the current Chair of the Greater Des Moines Sister Cities Commission.[4]



See also: Des Moines Public Schools elections (2013)


Teree Caldwell-Johnson defeated Darlene Blake and Joel Doyle for the new District 4 seat in the general election on September 10, 2013.[5]


Des Moines Public Schools, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngTeree Caldwell-Johnson Incumbent 41.7% 522
     Nonpartisan Joel Doyle 31.4% 393
     Nonpartisan Darlene Blake 26.1% 327
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.7% 9
Total Votes 1,251
Source: Polk County Auditor, "School Board Election," accessed September 14, 2013


During her campaign, no campaign donations or expenditures for Darlene Blake were reported to the Iowa Secretary of State.[6]


Darlene Blake did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.


Blake won the Republican primary but was defeated by Jo Oldson in the 2010 general election for District 61 of the Iowa House of Representatives in the November 2, 2010, state legislative elections. In an interview, Blake described herself as a "home cooked meal with a mixture of flavors. On jobs, fiscal issues and constitutional rights, I am a solid conservative. On social issues, I am a middle of the road moderate."[3]

Iowa House of Representatives, District 61 General Election, 2-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJo Oldson Incumbent 64.9% 7,943
     Republican Darlene Blake 34.9% 4,274
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 15
Total Votes 12,232
Source: Polk County Auditor, "General Election, Tuesday, November 2, 2010," accessed July 31, 2013

Iowa House of Representatives, District 61 Republican Primary, 2-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDarlene Blake Incumbent 99.6% 1,390
     Republican Write-in votes 0.4% 5
Total Votes 1,395
Source: Polk County Auditor, "General Election, Tuesday, June 8, 2010," accessed July 31, 2013

Campaign themes

Blake advocated the creation of a wellness program in the school district, arguing, "I think we’d see tremendous benefits both in the schools and in the community as a whole. Life is filled with stresses nowadays. ...If we start early and teach children to eat, exercise and sleep — all of these are components of wellness — I think there would be tremendous benefit."[7] Blake criticized both overspending in the district and the degree of consensus on the board, stating, "When people work together so closely for such a long period of time, pretty soon they start to think alike, and I think that’s a very dangerous thing."[8]

What was at stake?

There were four seats on the school board up for election on September 10, 2013. Incumbents Connie Boesen, Teree Caldwell-Johnson and Joe Jongewaard sought re-election to the board while fellow incumbent and current Chair Dick Murphy did not file for re-election, thereby ensuring that the election would result in a change of board leadership. Boesen and Jongewaard faced three challengers for two at-large seats. Rob X. Barron, Heather Ryan and Shane Schulte filed for the at-large race, while Ed Linebach and Toussaint Cheatom filed for the new District 2 seat. Caldwell-Johnson, Darlene Blake and Joel Doyle filed for the new District 4 seat.[9]

About the district

See also: Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa
Des Moines Public Schools is located in Polk County, Iowa
Des Moines Public Schools is located in Polk County, Iowa. The county seat of Polk County is Des Moines. According to the 2010 US Census, Polk County is home to 430,640 residents.[10]


Polk County outperformed the rest of Iowa in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Polk County was $57,473 compared to $50,451 for the state of Iowa. The poverty rate in Polk County was 10.6% compared to 11.9% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 33.8% of Polk County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 24.9% in Iowa.[11]

Racial Demographics, 2012[11]
Race Polk County (%) Iowa (%)
White 80.1 88.0
Black or African American 6.4 3.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.5
Asian 3.8 2.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.1 1.6
Hispanic or Latino 7.9 5.3

Party Affiliation, 2013[12]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 107,630 38.7
Republican 83,853 30.2
Unaffiliated 85,819 30.9
Other 638 0.2

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[13][14]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 Facebook, "Darlene Blake," accessed July 31, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Project Vote Smart, "Darlene Blake's Biography," accessed July 31, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Christina Rivers, Examiner.com, "Interview with Darlene Blake: candidate for State Representative House District 61," August 5, 2010
  4. LinkedIn, "Darlene Blake," accessed July 31, 2013
  5. Des Moines Register, "10 vie for seats on Des Moines school board," August 2, 2013
  6. IECDB Web Reporting System, "IECDB State/Local Campaign Disclosure Reports," accessed September 9, 2013
  7. Mary Stegmeir, Des Moines Register, "School board candidates call for more counselors," August 28, 2013
  8. Andy Fales, WHOtv.com 13, "SCHOOL BOARD: 8 New Candidates Vying For Spots," September 4, 2013
  9. Des Moines Register, "10 vie for seats on Des Moines school board," August 2, 2013
  10. United States Census Bureau, "Guide to 2010 Census State and Local Geography - Iowa," accessed July 29, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 United States Census Bureau, "Polk County Quick Facts," accessed July 29, 2013
  12. Iowa Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Totals by County,” accessed July 29, 2013
  13. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  14. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.