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Newcomers win majority of school board elections in Iowa

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September 11, 2013


by Daniel Anderson

Iowa's school boards have received an infusion of new blood through the September 10 elections held in eight of the state's largest school districts. Newcomers won 15 of the 26 school board seats up for grabs, while incumbents managed to retain only 11 seats. School board neophytes won a majority of available seats in Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque and Iowa City. In Sioux City, fresh faces won all three open seats. By comparison, incumbents held an edge only in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Des Moines voters presented a mixed picture, with the four seats split evenly between incumbents and challengers.

Spotlight: Des Moines Public Schools

Incumbent Connie Boesen and challenger Rob X. Barron, former aide to U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, won the two at-large seats in Des Moines. Despite receiving endorsements from both the Des Moines Education Association teachers union and the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, incumbent Joe Jongewaard narrowly lost his re-election bid alongside newcomers Shane Schulte and Heather Ryan.[1][2] Pastor Toussaint Cheatom defeated fellow political novice Ed Linebach, III for the new District 2 seat, while at-large incumbent Teree Caldwell-Johnson overcame opponents Darlene Blake and Joel Doyle to win the new District 4 seat. Of the $30,893.27 contributed to school board candidates in Des Moines, an overwhelming $29,196.27 was raised by just four candidates in the at-large race.[3]

This election marked the beginning of Des Moines' transition to a mixture of three at-large and four geographic district school board seats, which is replacing the current set of seven at-large seats.[4] Unfortunately, this change in voting methodology did not reverse the district's recent history of voter turnout decline, despite early indications to the contrary.[5] There were 14,021 votes cast, compared to 17,866 votes cast in 2011, 29,474 votes cast in 2009 and a sharp decline from the 47,537 votes cast in 2008.[6]

The following results are unofficial vote totals from the Iowa school board elections:

Election results

Cedar Rapids[7]
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Gary Anhalt: Unopposed

District 2
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Nancy Humbles: Unopposed

District 3
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Keith Westercamp: 696
UncheckedBox.jpg Lawrence Wenclawski: 354

Iowa City[8]
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Tuyet Dorau: 3,738
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Chris Lynch: 3,121
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Brian Kirschling: 3,041
UncheckedBox.jpg Phil Hemingway: 2,936
UncheckedBox.jpg Karla Cook: 2,671
UncheckedBox.jpg Sara Barron: 2,563
UncheckedBox.jpg Jason T. Lewis: 2,392
UncheckedBox.jpg Jim Tate: 659

Council Bluffs[9]
At-large (2-year term)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg J.J. Harvey: 605

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jill Ogg-Gress: 434
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Susan Riley: 340
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Scott Hansen: 317
UncheckedBox.jpg Ed Shada: 273
UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Wallner: 267
UncheckedBox.jpg Ariel Bloom: 256
UncheckedBox.jpg Chris Merk: 222

Sioux City[10]
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Paul Gorski: 1,714
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Paul Speidel: 1,665
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Shaun Broyhill: 1,640
UncheckedBox.jpg Perla Alarcon-Flory: 1,392
UncheckedBox.jpg Jaqueline Ritter: 1,142
UncheckedBox.jpg Audie Baughman: 1,035

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Richard Clewell: 1,273
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jamie Snyder: 1,190
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Maria Dickmann: 1,147
UncheckedBox.jpg Patt Zamora: 1,108
UncheckedBox.jpg Elaine Kresse: 1,069

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Shanlee McNally: 833

District 1
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Mike Kindschi: 111

District 4
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Angela Weekley: 145

Des Moines[13]
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Connie Boesen: 2,831
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Rob X. Barron: 2,696
UncheckedBox.jpg Joe Jongewaard: 2,662
UncheckedBox.jpg Shane Schulte: 2,244
UncheckedBox.jpg Heather Ryan: 1,075

District 2
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Toussaint Cheatom: 606
UncheckedBox.jpg Ed Linebach, III: 532

District 4
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Teree Caldwell-Johnson: 522
UncheckedBox.jpg Darlene Blake: 390
UncheckedBox.jpg Joel Doyle: 327

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jim Prochaska: 2,559
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Craig Beytien: 2,085
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Terra Siegert: 1,773
UncheckedBox.jpg George Davis: 1,304

See also