Lowell Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Lowell Public Schools Elections

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

Six seats on the School Committee for Lowell Public Schools were up for general election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents David J. Conway, James D. Leary, Connie A. Martin, Kristin Ross-Sitcawich, Kimberly A. Scott and newcomer Steven Gendron defeated incumbent Robert J. Gignac to win the six at-large seats.

About the district

See also: Lowell Public Schools, Massachusetts
Lowell Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Lowell Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The county seats of Middlesex County are Lowell and Cambridge. According to the 2010 US Census, Middlesex County is home to 1,537,215 residents.[1]

Demographics

Middlesex County outperformed the rest of Massachusetts in terms of its poverty rate, median rates of average household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The poverty rate in Middlesex County was 7.7% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The median household income in Middlesex County was $79,691 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The US Census also found that 49.8% of Middlesex County residents aged 25 years and older attained a bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Middlesex County (%) Massachusetts (%)
White 82.3 83.7
Black or African American 5.3 7.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.5
Asian 10.1 5.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.0 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 7.0 10.1

Party Affiliation, 2012[2]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 342,112 36.90
Republican 96,970 10.46
Green-Rainbow 1,134 0.12
Unaffiliated 483,119 52.11
Other 3,854 0.42

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 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[3]

Method of board member selection

The Lowell School Committee consists of seven members, six of whom are elected to two-year terms. The seventh member and Chair of the board is Lowell's mayor. The other six members of the board are elected at-large by the district as a whole. There was no primary election for the school board election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. All six at-large seats were on the ballot in 2013.[4]

Individuals interested in running for the board began circulating nominating petitions on June 3, 2013. The filing deadline for the 2013 general election was August 6 and candidates had until August 22 to officially withdraw from the ballot. Each candidate had to file a notarized candidate affidavit and nomination petitions with at least 50 valid signatures to the board secretary.[5]

Elections

2013

Candidates

  • David J. Conway
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Salem State College
    • Retired, educator
  • Robert J. Gignac
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
    • Accountant, Career Center of Lowell
  • James D. Leary
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Westfield State University
    • Small business owner, JDL Insurance Consultants
  • Connie A. Martin
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
    • Public servant, Energy and Community Teamwork, Inc.

  • Kristin Ross-Sitcawich
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
    • Public servant, Energy and Community Teamwork, Inc.
  • Kimberly A. Scott
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Franklin Pierce University
    • Sales representative, Eagle Leasing
  • Steven Gendron
    • Graduate, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
    • Sales executive, Cadence Design Systems Inc.

Election results

Lowell Public Schools, At-large General Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJames D. Leary Incumbent 15.9% 6,418
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDavid J. Conway Incumbent 15.8% 6,366
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven Gendron 15.8% 6,365
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngConnie A. Martin Incumbent 13.7% 5,518
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKimberly A. Scott Incumbent 13.4% 5,385
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKristin Ross-Sitawich Incumbent 13.1% 5,262
     Nonpartisan Robert J. Gignac Incumbent 12.1% 4,881
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 64
Total Votes 40,259
Source: The City of Lowell, "2013 Municipal Election Results (*Official*)," accessed December 18, 2013

Endorsements

The Lowell Sun endorsed incumbents David J. Conway, Robert J. Gignac, James D. Leary, Kimberly A. Scott and challenger Steven Gendron.[6]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $36,295.80 and spent a total of $22,642.31 during the election, according to the Lowell Election and Census Office.[7]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
David J. Conway $9,481.00 $7,329.76 $3,843.70
Robert J. Gignac $5,305.80 $3,145.70 $2,262.07
James D. Leary $4,083.00 $4,325.00 -$3,186.00
Connie A. Martin $3,600.00 $0.00 $4,334.21
Kristin Ross-Sitcawich $4,236.00 $3,940.23 $858.45
Kimberly A. Scott $880.00 $1,252.06 -$1,232.31
Steven Gendron $8,710.00 $2,649.56 $3,060.44

Past elections

What was at stake?

There were six seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents David J. Conway, Robert J. Gignac, James D. Leary, Connie A. Martin, Kristin Ross-Sitcawich and Kimberly A. Scott sought re-election to the board. They faced a single challenger, Steven Gendron. Gendron ended up coming in second place, with Gignac losing his spot on the board.[8]

Issues

In 2012, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell D. Chester recommended that the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approve a new charter school in Lowell, which the board proceeded to do with a 6-3 vote.[9][10] The approval of the Lowell Collegiate Charter School brought criticism from Paul Georges, President of the United Teachers of Lowell, who labeled the decision, "unfortunate."[10] Following the decision, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Federation of Teachers published an article claiming that the charter school "threatens progress" in Lowell.[11] A representative of SABIS Educational Systems, Inc., which will operate the charter school, defended the new school, stating, "We realized the district wasn’t offering the quality programs that parents want, as evident by testing data. We thought we could make a difference in the community by keeping families from moving, be a part of the solution to stabilize the community, and give it the competitive edge that it needs."[10]

Key deadlines

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

Deadline Event
June 3, 2013 First day for filing nominating petitions
August 6, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions
August 22, 2013 Last day to withdraw from ballot
October 16, 2013 Last day to register to vote in the city general election
October 28, 2013 Last day for candidates and PACs to file campaign finance reports
November 5, 2013 Election day

Additional elections on the ballot

This election only shared the ballot with other municipal and school board elections. Lowell's Mayor and School Committee Chair, Patrick O. Murphy, was not up for election this year. No additional measures appeared on the ballot.

See also

External links

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References