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Incumbents fare well in Missouri, South Dakota and California school board elections
On April 8, 2014, 21 school board elections took place in Missouri, California and South Dakota. Most of the contests were in Missouri, where 17 elections were held and an additional two elections were cancelled due to candidates running unopposed. Both California and South Dakota held only a single school board election each. Incumbents fared well in these elections, with only six incumbents losing their seats to their challengers.
In the Sioux Falls School District election, incumbent Douglas C. Morrison defeated Roger Russell in South Dakota's lone school board election. The election attracted more than 23,000 votes. California's only school board election saw much lower voter turnout in the Long Beach Unified School District. Fewer than 11,000 ballots were cast in the two tightly contested Long Beach elections, despite the district boasting a student population nearly four times larger than the Sioux Falls School District. Community activist Megan Kerr defeated petroleum engineer Uduak-Joe Ntuk in the District 1 contest that was separated by fewer than 200 votes. In the District 3 contest, incumbent Board President John McGinnis defeated Juan Benitez in a contest decided by fewer than 250 votes.
In Missouri, incumbents swept the ballot in Columbia Public Schools, Hazelwood School District, Independence School District and Park Hill School District. Lee's Summit R-7 Schools held an election with very low turnout, where only 216 ballots were cast in a district that serves 17,559 students. Another closely contested election was held in Wentzville R-IV School District, where incumbent Heather Reiter was ousted by Courtney Tieman, Barbara Fine and Kenneth Mayer. Kansas City Public Schools will see three new board members with the election of newcomers Melissa J. Robinson, Patricia Mansur and Amy H. Hartsfield.
Spotlight: Ferguson-Florissant School District
Despite controversy surrounding the suspension and eventual resignation of Superintendent Art McCoy, incumbents Robert Chabot and Paul T. Morris successfully defended their seats against six challengers. Former Ferguson-Florissant principal Donna Paulette-Thurman also won a seat on the board in an election which drew more than 16,000 votes. Paulette-Thurman was elected as the district's lone black representative in a school district where black students make up approximately 78 percent of the student body. James Savala, Paulette-Thurman's partner on the "Grade A for Change" slate, fell just 91 votes short of a seat in his attempt to oust the incumbent candidates. The new board members will be tasked with choosing a new superintendent for the school district.
Note: An (i) next to a candidate's name indicates incumbent status.
Long Beach Unified School District
Blue Springs School District
Columbia Public Schools
Ferguson-Florissant School District
Fox C-6 School District
Fort Zumwalt R-II School District
Francis Howell School District
Hazelwood School District
Independence School District
Kansas City Public Schools
Carl Evans (i)
Lee's Summit R-7 Schools
Liberty Public Schools
Mehlville School District
North Kansas City Schools
Park Hill School District
Rockwood School District
Springfield Public Schools
St. Joseph School District
Wentzville R-IV School District
Sioux Falls School District
- More than 100 candidates running in California, Missouri and South Dakota school board elections
- School board elections, 2014
- California school board elections, 2014
- California elections, 2014
- Missouri school board elections, 2014
- Missouri elections, 2014
- South Dakota school board elections, 2014
- South Dakota elections, 2014