Donna Karnal

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Donna Karnal
Donna Karnal.jpg
Fairfield Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
November 2017
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionSmall business owner
Campaign website
Donna Karnal is a member of the Fairfield Board of Education. She first won election to the board as a Democratic candidate against four other candidates on November 5, 2013.


Karnal earned a Master's degree in Conflict Resolution and currently owns a small business. She has served as a volunteer with Relay for Life. Karnal has two children currently attending district schools.[1]



See also: Fairfield Public Schools elections (2013)

Karnal won election as a Democrat against four other candidates for four seats on the board.


Fairfield Public Schools, General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEileen Liu-McCormack 22.8% 6,724
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Llewellyn 21.2% 6,269
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMarc Patton 20.1% 5,919
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDonna Karnal 18.2% 5,382
     Democratic Kenneth Lee 17.7% 5,214
Total Votes 29,508
Source: Connecticut Secretary of State, "Municipal Elections - November 5, 2013," accessed December 17, 2013


Donna Karnal did not report any contributions or expenditures to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Campaign themes



Karnal's campaign website explains why she is running for a board seat in 2013:[2]

"Karnal believes it is time for the public to vote in members to the Board of Education who will vote to make positive changes for the Fairfield Public School System in order to bring us closer to Best in Nation status. This means the pursuit of excellence in education for the students while simultaneously having the common sense to spend in a responsible fashion. If elected, Donna is committed to help bring Fairfield schools to that next level. Prioritizing excellent teaching and programs for students does not require excessive spending. It requires research, common sense and a commitment to excellence. The kids win. The town and the taxpayers win. It is possible."

Responses to Fairfield Taxpayers Forum

Karnal explained her top three priorities as a Board of Education candidate during the 2013 Candidate Forum hosted by Fairfield Taxpayers:[3]

"If I am elected to the board for the first time my three priorities would be the following:

  • Listen and learn about the how the board works and how everyone interacts with each other including the superintendent
  • Leverage my master's in conflict resolution to encourage more of the board members to cross party lines and work together to vote on issues in a practical manner with the interest of the children and Town always put before all else.
  • Request that complete, relevant information be provided for review well in advance of any vote in order to responsibly make critical decisions that affect the fiscal direction of the town and the quality of education for Fairfield’s student population. We need to make a concerted effort to redirect spending back to the students. I have faith that if board members are truly acting in the interest of all the students in Fairfield and the decision making process is done in earnest, superior results will follow."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbent Democrats Sue Brand and Perry Liu and Republicans Pamela Iacono and Tim Kery did not seek re-election to the board. The Fairfield Democratic Town Committee endorsed newcomers Donna Karnal, Kenneth Lee and Marc Patton in July 2013. Lee was the only candidate not elected to the board.[4] Newcomers Eileen Liu-McCormack and John Llewellyn were endorsed by the Fairfield Republican Town Committee with Iacono placing third in a July caucus.[5]

About the district

See also: Fairfield Public Schools, Connecticut
Fairfield Public Schools is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut
The Town of Fairfield is located along the Long Island Sound in Fairfield County in southern Connecticut. The population of Fairfield was 59,625 according to a 2012 report by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.[6]


Fairfield outperformed state rates for poverty, median income and higher education achievement in 2011. The city had a poverty rate of 3.3% in the CERC Report while the state rate was 9.2%. The 2012 CERC Report calculated Fairfield's median income at $114,709 while the state median income was $82,711. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (59%) is above the state average (36%).[6]

Racial Demographics, 2011[6]
Race Fairfield (%) Connecticut (%)
White 91.6 77.6
Black or African American 1.8 10.1
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.1 0.3
Asian 3.7 3.8
Two or More Races 2.8 8.1
Hispanic or Latino 5.4 14.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[7]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 51 48
2008 56.4 42.8
2004 49.9 48.7
2000 49.6 45.6

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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

Recent news

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