Ron Higgins

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Ron Higgins
Ron Higgins.jpg
Former candidate for
Richland School Board, Seat 1
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCalifornia Polytechnic State University
Master'sUniversity of West Florida
OtherM.S., University of Washington
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Marine Corps
Campaign website
Ron Higgins was a candidate for Seat 1 on the Richland School Board in Washington. He was defeated by incumbent Heather Cleary in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Higgins received a B.S. in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University in 1969. He later earned a M.S. in Aeronautical Systems from West Florida in 1970 and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1980. Higgins retired from an engineering position with the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 and has worked as a substitute teacher. Higgins served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He and his wife, Deborah, have two children who graduated from district schools[1]



See also: Richland School District elections (2013)


Higgins sought election to the board against incumbent Heather Cleary on November 5, 2013.


General election
Richland School Board, Four-year term, Seat 1, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngHeather Cleary Incumbent 55.3% 8,571
     Nonpartisan Ron Higgins 44.7% 6,934
Total Votes 15,505
Source: Benton County Auditor, "Election Results," November 26, 2013

Higgins placed second during the August 6, 2013 primary against Heather Cleary and Jimmie D. Chastain. Higgins and Cleary will be on the November 5, 2013 ballot as the top two finishers in the primary.[2]

Richland School Board, Primary, Seat 1, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngHeather Cleary Incumbent 55.4% 4,355
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRon Higgins 34.9% 2,741
     Nonpartisan Jimmie D. Chastain 9.7% 765
Total Votes 7,861
Source: Benton County Auditor


Higgins reported no contributions or expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.[3]


Higgins ran for Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction during the August 7, 2012. He placed second to incumbent Randy Dorn but did not qualify for the November general election.[4]

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRandy Dorn Incumbent 56.2% 634,314
     Nonpartisan Ron Higgins 15.3% 172,331
     Nonpartisan James Bauckman 13.2% 149,370
     Nonpartisan Don Hansler 9.2% 104,360
     Nonpartisan John Patterson Blair 6% 67,898
Total Votes 1,128,273
Source: Washington Secretary of State

Campaign themes


Higgins's statement in the Benton County voter pamphlet outlines the following themes for 2013:[5]

Common Core Curriculum

"Foundational to our educational system is local control, but there is a program being pushed on us from the educational hierarchy that will override local control: Common Core Curriculum. Although sounding appealing, Common Core takes educational control away from parents and local educators and gives it to professional bureaucrats, many located miles away, and many who have never been classroom teachers. Centralized educational control not only usurps parental control and violates the US Constitution; it impugns our local educatorsí competence for devising and implementing educational curricula."

Student safety

"Student safety is highest priority. While teaching in numerous schools, I noticed evidences of bullying by well-financed special-interest pressure groups promoting sexual anarchy and unhealthy lifestyles. Such bullying needs to be opposed and resisted."


"Inexpensive programs need to be investigated (proctors, graders, etc.) to reduce the time teachers need to spend outside of class, allowing teachers to focus more on teaching and less on administration."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Heather Cleary sought a third term in Seat 1 against Higgins. Rick Jansons ran for a fourth term on the board from Seat 2 against challenger Lloyd Becker.


A major issue in the primary election for Seat 1 was the implementation of Common Core Curriculum standards in district schools. Higgins actively opposed Common Core implementation ahead of the August 6 primary. Another issue facing the district is growing enrollment in schools and related stresses on the budget.[6] In early August 2013, current members of the board cited the introduction of impact fees and the expansion of all-day kindergarten as priorities for the 2013-2014 school year.[7]

About the district

See also: Richland School District, Washington
Richland School District is located in Benton County, Washington
The City of Richland is located in Benton County in south-central Washington. The county is surrounded by tributaries of the Columbia River with the Yakima and Columbia Rivers connecting in Richland. The population of Richland was 48,109 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[8]


Richland outperforms state averages for median income, higher education achievement and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (41.0%) is above the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Richland's median income at $67,666 while the state median income was $58,890. Richland had a poverty rate of 8.4% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Richland (%) Washington (%)
White 87.0 77.3
Black or African American 1.4 3.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 4.7 7.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.6
Two or More Races 3.2 4.7
Hispanic or Latino 7.8 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[9]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 35.4 62.2
2008 36.1 62.2
2004 - -
2000 - -

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.[10]

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