Jersey City Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Jersey City Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
New Jersey
Jersey City Public Schools
Hudson County, New Jersey ballot measures
Local ballot measures, New Jersey
Flag of New Jersey.png

Four seats on the Jersey City Public Schools school board were up for general election on November 5, 2013. Jessica Daye, Micheline Amy and Ellen Simon defeated ten challengers to win three at-large seats. Angel Valentin defeated Carol Lester to win an unexpired term.

About the district

See also: Jersey City Public Schools, New Jersey
Jersey City Public Schools is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
Jersey City Public Schools is located in Hudson County, New Jersey. The county seat of Hudson County is Jersey City. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hudson County is home to 652,302 residents.[1]


Hudson County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of median household income according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The median household income in Hudson County was $57,660 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Hudson County was 15.1% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 35.3% of Hudson County residents aged 25 years and older attained a bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Hudson County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 66.4 73.8
Black or African American 15.0 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.2 0.6
Asian 14.8 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.4 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 42.6 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[2]
Party Hudson County Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 176,138 50.34
Republican 27,539 7.87
Libertarian 188 0.01
Green 96 0.01
Other 54 0.01
Unaffiliated 145,878 41.76

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.[3]

Method of board member selection

The Jersey City school board consists of nine members elected to three-year terms at-large by the district as a whole. There was no primary election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. Four seats were on the ballot in 2013, three for three-year terms and one for an unexpired one-year term.[4]

The filing deadline for school board candidates to get on the ballot in the 2013 general election was June 4.[5]





  • Micheline Amy
    • Graduate, Salisbury University
    • Senior human resources manager
  • Jessica Daye
    • Graduate, Teachers College of Columbia University
    • Bilingual special education advocate, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • Telissa E. Dowling
    • Graduate, Saint Peter's College
    • Substitute teacher, Jersey City Public Schools
  • Carol L. Gabriel
    • Graduate, Fairleigh Dickinson University
    • Retired paraprofessional
  • DeJon Morris
    • Graduate, DePaul University
    • Detective, Jersey City Police Department
  • Ellen Simon
    • Graduate, Northwestern University
    • Freelance writer
  • Gina Verdibello
    • Graduate, Rutgers University
    • Realtor, Century 21 Action Plus Realty
  • Kevaan G. Walton
    • Graduate, Seton Hall University
    • Therapeutic technician, LibertyHealth Jersey City Medical Center

  • Carol Lester
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Temple University
    • Singer-songwriter, "ABC Sing With Me"
  • Angel Valentin
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
    • Grants manager

Election results

Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJessica Daye 21.1% 9,351
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMicheline Amy 17.7% 7,879
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEllen Simon 10.6% 4,702
     Nonpartisan Lorenzo Richardson 10.2% 4,511
     Nonpartisan Gerald Lyons Incumbent 8.9% 3,950
     Nonpartisan Gina Verdibello 7.6% 3,383
     Nonpartisan Kevaan G. Walton 6.2% 2,770
     Nonpartisan Denise Davis 4.8% 2,137
     Nonpartisan DeJon Morris 4.3% 1,914
     Nonpartisan Carol L. Gabriel 2.7% 1,214
     Nonpartisan Josephine Paige 2.2% 982
     Nonpartisan Susan Harbace 2.2% 961
     Nonpartisan Telissa E. Dowling 1.4% 608
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.1% 44
Total Votes 44,406
Source: Hudson County Clerk, "Official Election Results," November 14, 2013

Jersey City Public Schools, At-large General Election, Unexpired term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAngel Valentin Incumbent 54.1% 7,698
     Nonpartisan Carol Lester Incumbent 45.7% 6,506
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.2% 26
Total Votes 14,230
Source: Hudson County Clerk, "Official Election Results," November 14, 2013


Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has endorsed newcomers Micheline Amy, Jessica Daye and Ellen Simon for the three seats with three-year terms and incumbent Carol Lester for the one seat with a one-year term.[6] They have also received endorsements from board members Vidya Gangadin, Sangeeta Ranade and Carol Harrison-Arnold along with Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro and Councilwomen Diane Coleman and Candice Osborne.[7]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $79,423.00 and spent a total of $43,909.21 during the election, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[8]

Candidates running as part of Friends of Amy, Daye, Simon and Lester received a total of $35,360.49 and spent a total of $11,505.03.

The remaining candidates received a total of $44,062.51 and spent a total of $32,404.18.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Denise Davis $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Telissa E. Dowling $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Carol L. Gabriel $502.90 $502.90 $0.00
Susan Harbace $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Gerald Lyons $16,910.00 $16,466.00 $444.00
DeJon Morris $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Lorenzo Richardson $8,200.00 $8,200.00 $0.00
Angel Valentin $9,250.00 $9,096.00 $154.00
Gina Verdibello $9,200.00 $9,644.31 $0.00
Kevaan G. Walton $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

There were four seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Carol Lester and Angel Valentin filed to run against one another for the single at-large seat with an unexpired one-year term, while fellow incumbent Gerald Lyons competed against 11 challengers for three at-large seats with three-year terms. Incumbent Sterling Waterman did not file for re-election. Josephine Paige, Peter A. Basso and Jay Cordero initially announced runs for the three-year term seats, but all three withdrew from the race before November.[9]


Alleged board meeting incivility

During a candidate forum held on October 24, 2013, Ellen Simon criticized Lorenzo Richardson for comments he made during a school board meeting in July, 2012 shortly after the hiring of district superintendent Marcia V. Lyles. Richardson had denounced the controversial hiring decision and told the board, "My advice to all of you board members: Whoever has a gun to your head, let them pull the trigger. At least you will die with respect. OK? Cause if I was in that position, I’d tell them to pull the trigger." Simon argued that this was symbolic of the degree of incivility common at Jersey City school board meetings and that Richardson had spoken inappropriately. She added that, "This rhetoric has no place in a board of education. [...]And this kind of incivility is what has torn the board apart." Richardson defended his comments, insisting that he meant the board should ignore pressure from the New Jersey state government to hire Lyles, not that he meant they should commit suicide for their decision.[10]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Jersey City Public Schools election in 2013:[5]

Deadline Event
June 4, 2013 Last day for filing nominating petitions in school board elections
June 10, 2013 Last day to challenge nominating petitions in school board elections
August 12, 2013 County clerk draws ballot positions for candidates
September 6, 2013 Last day for candidates to withdraw from the general election ballot
November 5, 2013 General election
December 3, 2013 Certification of election results by Board of State Canvassers

Additional elections on the ballot

This election shared the ballot with local and state elections, including the race for Governor along with seats in the New Jersey State Assembly and New Jersey State Senate. The November 5 ballot included proposed constitutional amendments that would establish cost of living adjustments for the state minimum wage and use gaming profits for veterans' organizations.[11]

See also

External links

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