Hillsborough County Public Schools elections (2014)

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2014 Hillsborough County Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
August 26, 2014
Runoff Election date:
November 4, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Florida
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Hillsborough County, Florida ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Florida
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Three seats on the Hillsborough County School Board were up for general election on August 26, 2014. The general election determined if candidates for each seat could garner a majority of the vote total. No candidate received 50 percent plus one of the general election votes in any of the districts. Therefore, the top two vote recipients in each race advanced to the runoff election on November 4, 2014.

District 6 incumbent April Griffin was the only board member to seek re-election and faced a challenge from seven other candidates in the general election. Griffin defeated Dipa Shah in the runoff election.

Newcomers Sally Harris, Michelle Popp Shimberg and Michael Weston ran for the District 2 seat. Weston did not advance to the runoff election, where Harris defeated Shimberg. Terry Kemple, Dee Prether and Melissa Snively sought election to the District 4 seat. Prether did not advance to the runoff election, where Snively defeated Kemple.

The 2014 election drew heavy spending with over half a million dollars being spent in the races as of October 28, 2014. The district also faced an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education over accusations of discriminatory disciplinary actions.

See also: What was at stake in the Hillsborough County School Board 2014 election?

About the district

See also: Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida
Hillsborough County Public Schools is located in Hillsborough County, Florida
Hillsborough County Public Schools is based in Tampa, the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida. Hillsborough County is home to 1,291,578 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[1] Hillsborough County Public Schools is the third-largest school district in Florida, serving 197,041 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[2]

Demographics

Hillsborough County outperformed the rest of Florida in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.0 percent of Hillsborough County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.2 percent for Florida as a whole. The median household income in Hillsborough County was $49,450 compared to $47,309 for the state of Florida. The poverty rate in Hillsborough County was 16.5 percent compared to 15.6 percent for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Hillsborough County (%) Florida (%)
White 75.8 78.3
Black or African American 17.4 16.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.5
Asian 3.8 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.4 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 25.6 23.2

Party registration, 2014[3]
Party Number of registered voters
Democratic 302,422
Republican 241,871
Other 207,216
Total 751,509

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.[4]

Method of board member selection

The Hillsborough County School Board consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. Each member is elected to a specific geographic district. There was a general election on August 26, 2014, and the runoff election took place on November 4, 2014, as no candidate receives 50 percent or more of the general election vote.

Candidates for the school board filed for the election by June 20, 2014. The county's elections office hosted early voting for the general election at various locations from August 16, 2014, to August 23, 2014. The early voting window for the runoff election ran from October 25, 2014, to November 1, 2014. The last day to request a mailed absentee ballot in the general election was August 20, 2014, and the runoff election deadline was October 29, 2014.

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

Candidate defeated in the general election:

Candidate defeated in the general election:

Election results

Runoff: District 2
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 2 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSally Harris 52.5% 39,141
     Nonpartisan Michelle Popp Shimberg 47.5% 35,355
Total Votes 74,496
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed November 4, 2014 These results are unofficial.
Runoff: District 4
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 4 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMelissa Snively 53.6% 36,292
     Nonpartisan Terry Kemple 46.4% 31,417
Total Votes 67,709
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed November 4, 2014 These results are unofficial.
Runoff: District 6
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 6 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngApril Griffin Incumbent 65% 203,337
     Nonpartisan Dipa Shah 35% 109,478
Total Votes 312,815
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed November 4, 2014 These results are unofficial.
General: District 2
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMichelle Popp Shimberg 47.1% 14,387
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSally Harris 27.2% 8,324
     Nonpartisan Michael Weston 25.7% 7,839
Total Votes 30,550
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Results," September 2, 2014
General: District 4
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMelissa Snively 46.8% 11,706
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngTerry Kemple 39.5% 9,900
     Nonpartisan Dee Prether 13.7% 3,433
Total Votes 25,039
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Results," September 2, 2014
General: District 6
Hillsborough County Public Schools, District 6 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngApril Griffin Incumbent 27% 31,272
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDipa Shah 16.4% 19,022
     Nonpartisan Stacy Hahn 15.7% 18,214
     Nonpartisan Paula P. Meckley 14.7% 17,050
     Nonpartisan Alison McGillivray Fernandez 12.5% 14,441
     Nonpartisan Randy Toler 6.5% 7,587
     Nonpartisan Lee Sierra 4.4% 5,044
     Nonpartisan Asher D. Edelson 2.8% 3,302
Total Votes 115,932
Source: Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Results," September 2, 2014

Endorsements

Former superintendent Earl Lennard endorsed Melissa Snively and Paula P. Meckley prior to the August 26, 2014, election.[5]

The Tampa Bay Times endorsed Michelle Popp Shimberg, Melissa Snively and April Griffin.[6] Co-founder of The Global Dispatch Brandon Jones also endorsed Griffin.[7]

After the general election, former opponents Paula P. Meckley, Lee Sierra and Stacy Hahn endorsed Shah for the runoff election. She was also endorsed by the Tampa Fire Fighters, United Christians of Florida, The Florida Sentinel, The Hillsborough County Medical Association PAC and Plumbers & Pipefitters. She was also endorsed by former district superintendent Dr. Earl Lennard and Kathleen Shanahan, the chair of the state board of education. The following state legislators endorsed Shah's candidacy:[8]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $713,132.67 and spent a total of $532,645.20 as of October 28, 2014, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.[9]

District 2

In the District 2 race, candidates raised a total of $179,271.43 and spent a total of $139,505.12.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Sally Harris $28,177.54 $0.00 $24,982.42 $3,195.12
Michelle Popp Shimberg $138,112.00 $3,086.89 $106,372.78 $31,739.22
Michael Weston $9,122.00 $773.00 $8,149.92 $972.08
District 4

In the District 4 race, candidates raised a total of $192,857.19 and spent a total of $140,120.87.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Terry Kemple $73,136.20 $558.52 $48,132.54 $25,003.66
Dee Prether $8,870.62 $81.85 $8,167.52 $703.10
Melissa Snively $108,380.00 $1,830.00 $83,820.81 $24,559.19
District 6

In the District 6 race, candidates raised a total of $341,004.05 and spent a total of $253,019.21.

Candidate Monetary
contributions
In-kind
contributions
Expenditures Cash on hand
Asher D. Edelson $2,716.19 $0.00 $2,681.16 $35.03
Alison McGillivray Fernandez $7,352.04 $3,190.22 $3,666.98 $3,685.06
April Griffin $41,021.00 $0.00 $30,292.34 $10,728.66
Stacy Hahn $34,915.00 $1,978.83 $29,940.92 $4,974.08
Paula P. Meckley $80,275.00 $6,814.77 $64,896.95 $15,378.05
Dipa Shah $128,263.00 $10,958.90 $104,837.92 $23,425.08
Lee Sierra $13,241.36 $781.90 $7,219.27 $6,022.09
Randy Toler $9,483.67 $12.17 $9,483.67 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

While all three districts with seats up for general election on August 26, 2014, ended up requiring runoff elections, District 6 saw the hottest contest. April Griffin in District 6 was the only incumbent to seek re-election in the 2014 race. While Griffin overcame seven challengers and received the highest number of votes the general election, her runoff challenger was outspending her as of October 28, 2014. Dipa Shah reported over $128,000 in monetary contributions and had over $23,000 in cash on hand. Griffin reported just over $41,000 in contributions at that point and had a little over $10,000 on hand.[9]

High campaign contributions and expenditures were seen in all three races leading up to the runoff election. As of October 28, 2014, Michelle Popp Shimberg had outraised Sally Harris, at a pace of five to one and had outspent Harris over four to one. Simberg had over $31,000 on hand at that time, dwarfing Harris at just over $3,000. Terry Kemple and Melissa Snively in District 4 were more evenly matched in campaign finance. Snively had received and spent more in her campaign, but both candidates had around $25,000 going into the last days of the campaign. Altogether, candidates in the Hillsborough County School Board election had received more than $700,000 as of October 28, 2014.[9]

Issues in the district

DOE discipline investigation

In June 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights announced that it was investigating Hillsborough County Public Schools over complaints that the district subjected black students to harsher discipline than white students and that the district does not provide equal access to experienced teachers in the schools that serve poorer demographics. Marilyn Williams, a retired teacher, filed the complaint. The graduation rate for black students in the district has lagged behind the district average with 59 percent of black students graduating in the 2012-2013 school year compared to 74 percent for the entire school district. Black students without disabilities were also three times as likely to be expelled or suspended than white students in the district in the 2011-2012 school year.[10]

According to a report released in early October 2014, the district's schools gave fewer suspensions to minority male students in the 2013-2014 school year than in the preceding school year. Specifically for black males students, the number decreased from 4,178 in 2012-2013 to 4,028 in 2013-2014.[11]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the school board election in 2014:[12]

Deadline Event
June 20, 2014 Last day of candidate filing period
August 16, 2014 First day of early voting in general election
August 20, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for general election
August 23, 2014 Last day of early voting in general election
August 26, 2014 General election day
October 25, 2014 First day of early voting in runoff election
October 29, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for runoff election
November 1, 2014 Last day of early voting in runoff election
November 4, 2014 Runoff election day

Additional elections on the ballot

See also: Florida elections, 2014

Area residents voted on county and statewide races on November 4, 2014. Residents of Hillsborough County voted on races for seats on the county commission and county courts. The November 4, 2014, ballot included races for state legislature, state executive and U.S. House seats.

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See also

External links

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References