Newport News Public Schools elections (2014)

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2014 Newport News Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
May 6, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Virginia
Newport News Public Schools
Local ballot measures, Virginia
Flag of Virginia.png

Four seats on the Newport News School Board were up for general election on May 6, 2014. Gary B. Hunter won the at-large seat after narrowly defeating Rick E. Jones, Jr. with Curtis D. Bethany III placing third in the race. At-large incumbent Debbie Johnston did not file for re-election. Incumbent Pricillia E. Burnett lost to challenger Douglas C. Brown in her bid for another term in the North seat. Betty Bracey Dixon lost her election bid for the Central district seat against incumbent Jeff Stodghill. Board chair Carlton S. Ashby won re-election to the South district without opposition.

The at-large election took a few unexpected turns only 24 hours after the polls closed. Rick E. Jones, Jr. won the election by 47 votes based on unofficial results on the night of the election. An audit by city officials on May 7, 2014 found that Gary B. Hunter won the election by 40 votes. Jones filed a request for an additional recount in the Newport News Circuit Court on May 16, 2014. State law allows candidates to seek recounts if they have lost by less than one percent of the vote.[1] The Newport News Elections Board affirmed Hunter's victory on June 13, 2014 after a final recount.[2]

About the district

See also: Newport News Public Schools, Virginia
Newport News Public Schools is located in Newport News, Virginia
Newport News Public Schools is located in Newport News, a city in eastern Virginia. According to the United States Census Bureau, Newport News is home to 180,726 residents.[3] Newport News Public Schools is the ninth-largest school district in Virginia, serving 29,948 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[4]

Demographics

Newport News underperformed in comparison to the rest of Virginia in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.9 percent of Newport News residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 34.7 percent for Virginia as a whole. The median household income in Newport News was $50,744 compared to $63,636 for the state of Virginia. The poverty rate in Newport News was 14.5 percent compared to 11.1 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2010[3]
Race Newport News (%) Virginia (%)
White 49.0 68.6
Black or African American 40.7 19.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.4
Asian 2.7 5.5
Two or More Races 4.3 2.9
Hispanic or Latino 7.5 7.9

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[5]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 64.3 34.2
2008 63.9 35.2
2004 51.9 47.4
2000 51.5 46.7

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.[6]

Method of board member selection

The Newport News School Board consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. Two members each are elected to North, South and Central seats with the seventh member elected to an at-large seat. There was no primary election and a general election was held on May 6, 2014. Three seats will be on the ballot in 2016.

Candidates filed declarations of candidacy with the Newport News Voter Registrar by March 4, 2014. A candidate must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, a resident of Virginia for at least one year and a current district resident. State law requires voters to present government-issued identification, student ID cards or a current bill with address at the ballot location.[7]

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

  • Carlton S. Ashby Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Hampton University and College of William & Mary
    • Retired educator

Election results

Newport News Public Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGary B. Hunter 40.3% 3,569
     Nonpartisan Rick E. Jones, Jr. 39.8% 3,529
     Nonpartisan Curtis D. Bethany III 19.2% 1,698
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.8% 67
Total Votes 8,863
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections, "Official Results - General and Special Elections - May 6, 2014," May 6, 2014


Newport News Public Schools, Central General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas C. Brown 50.8% 1,132
     Nonpartisan Pricillia E. Burnett Incumbent 48.4% 1,077
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.8% 18
Total Votes 2,227
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections, "Official Results - General and Special Elections - May 6, 2014," May 6, 2014


Newport News Public Schools, North General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Stodghill Incumbent 50.7% 1,748
     Nonpartisan Betty Bracey Dixon 49.1% 1,694
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 9
Total Votes 3,451
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections, "Official Results - General and Special Elections - May 6, 2014," May 6, 2014


Newport News Public Schools, South General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCarlton S. Ashby Incumbent 98.8% 2,925
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 1.2% 37
Total Votes 2,962
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections, "Official Results - General and Special Elections - May 6, 2014," May 6, 2014

Endorsements

The Daily Press endorsed Gary B. Hunter, Pricillia E. Burnett and Jeff Stodghill for the May 6, 2014 general election.[8]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $19,398.02 and spent a total of $4,788.08 prior to the election, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections.[9]

In the at-large race, candidates reported $6,682.00 in contributions and $1,431.36 in expenditures.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Curtis D. Bethany III $1,510.00 $778.86 $731.14
Gary B. Hunter $4,847.00 $652.50 $4,194.50
Rick E. Jones, Jr. $325.00 $0.00 $325.00

In the North seat race, candidates reported $3,663.27 in contributions and $1,406.15 in expenditures.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Douglas C. Brown $3,380.93 $1,152.71 $2,228.22
Pricillia E. Burnett $282.34 $253.44 $28.90

In the Central seat race, candidates reported $9,052.75 in contributions and $1,950.57 in expenditures.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Betty Bracey Dixon $684.31 $648.47 $35.84
Jeff Stodghill $8,368.44 $1,302.10 $7,066.34

In the South seat race, candidates reported no contributions or expenditures.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Carlton S. Ashby $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

April 24 candidate forum

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference held a candidate forum at the district's administration building on April 24, 2014. The forum featured tense discussions between moderators Bill Thomas and Pat Woodbury and candidates answering questions about academic performance, student assessments and anti-gang efforts in the district. Board member Jeff Stodghill stated that the district had made progress on improving academic performance over the past four years. Thomas, the director of government relations at Hampton University, criticized Stodghill's optimistic view and cited poor performance by students at local colleges as an example of the district's struggles. Newcomer Curtis D. Bethany III expressed concerns about the difficulty level of the state's Standard of Learning assessments, which led Thomas to state that state assessment examples he reviewed were simple.[10]

Woodbury, a member of the Newport News City Council, questioned candidates about the school board's willingness to support the city's anti-gang violence initiatives. She suggested that district officials discourage teachers from seeking disciplinary action against students to avoid damaging the district's reputation. Board member Betty Bracey Dixon argued that gang activity is more commonplace in district schools than is reported. Fellow incumbent Pricillia E. Burnett advocated for alternative education options for gang members rather than seeking criminal punishment.[10]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Newport News Public Schools election in 2014:[11][12]

Deadline Event
March 4, 2014 Last day to file paperwork for ballot placement
April 14, 2014 Last day to register to vote for the May election
April 15, 2014 First campaign finance reporting deadline before election
April 28, 2014 Last campaign finance reporting deadline before election
April 29, 2014 Last day for Voter Registrar's Office to receive absentee ballot application
May 3, 2014 Last day to vote in-person at the Voter Registrar's Office.
May 6, 2014 Election day
June 16, 2014 Filing deadline for post-election campaign finance reporting

Additional elections on the ballot

The school board election shared the ballot with races for mayor and three seats on the Newport News City Council.[13]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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