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Rosario C. de Baca

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Rosario C. de Baca
Rosario C. de Baca.jpg
Former candidate for
Denver Board of Education, District 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Rosario C. de Baca was a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Denver Board of Education in Colorado. She was defeated in her election bid against fellow challenger Rosemary Rodriguez on November 5, 2013.


de Baca was a field organizer for the United Farm Workers of America before starting her family. She has volunteered time with Southwest Voter Project and the Women's Vote Project to register voters. de Baca previously served on the district's Citizen Committee for Bond Expenditures. She has been appointed by the mayor to the Denver Community Health Clinic Board and the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. de Baca and her husband, Vince, have five children who attended district schools.[1]



See also: Denver Public Schools elections (2013)


de Baca sought election to the District 2 seat against fellow challenger Rosemary Rodriguez.


Denver Public Schools, Four-year term, District 2, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRosemary Rodriguez 61.8% 9,305
     Nonpartisan Rosario C. de Baca 38.2% 5,743
Total Votes 15,048
Source: Denver County Clerk and Recorder, "Final Official Election Results," accessed December 13, 2013


de Baca reported $23,335.00 in contributions and $13,110.40 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left her campaign with $10,224.60 on hand.[2]


de Baca received the following endorsements for her 2013 campaign:[3]

  • Denver Classroom Teachers Association
  • Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Campaign themes


de Baca explained her major themes for the 2013 campaign on her website:[4]

I’m running for the DPS Board of Education because too many of our schools have lost their relation with their community. Every decision I make will be through the lens of what is best for our neighborhood schools and with an open ear, to include the concerns and aspirations of community members across Denver. We must build trust and ensure that all funds and resources go to benefit the public schools of Denver.

As your voice on the Board from district 2, I will work to put community first:

1) Work to ensure our students can safely walk to schools in our neighborhoods. Too many of our students are transported across town. The lack of essential instructional support and enriched curriculum in nearby schools is especially detrimental to working class neighborhoods. Parents are challenged to get their students on time to schools across town and also get themselves to work.

2) Strong, Safe Neighborhood schools also mean healthier students and families. When students are able to walk to their neighborhood schools we give them a little extra physical activity and especially when they are younger, time for uninterrupted conversations with parents. As a mother, I know my kids looked forward to having time alone walking to and from school with me or their father. They learned to notice and recognize the people, pets and homes in our neighborhood.

3) Neighborhood schools create a sense of real community. When our schools become centers for community participation where our kids go to learn it creates pride among our students and families. That pride motivates students to work harder, engage in sports and other extracurricular activities, and build a team spirit that strives to succeed.

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

What was at stake?

Incumbents Mary Seawell, Andrea Merida and Jeannie Kaplan did not seek re-election to the at-large, District 2 and District 3 seats, respectively. A three-way race for the at-large seat featured former Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, Michael Kiley and Joan Poston. The District 2 race featured newcomers de Baca and Rosemary Rodriguez. Mike Johnson and Meg Schomp competed to replace Kaplan in District 3. Landri Taylor ran for re-election in District 4 against challenger Roger Kilgore.

Stances on Amendment 66

Colorado voters cast ballots on Amendment 66, a constitutional amendment that increases income taxes to support public education. The following table lists the publicly stated position of each Board of Education candidate on the amendment.

Stances on Amendment 66[5]
Candidate Stated position
Barbara O'Brien Support
Michael Kiley Support
Joan Poston Oppose
Rosario C. de Baca Support
Rosemary Rodriguez Support
Mike Johnson Support
Meg Schomp Support
Landri Taylor Support
Roger Kilgore Support

Conflict of interest concerns

Candidates for the at-large, District 3 and District 4 seats accused their opponents of conflicts of interest. At-large candidate Michael Kiley pointed out that the district has a $350,000 contract with Get Smart Schools, a non-profit organization headed by Barbara O'Brien. O'Brien countered that Kiley's employer, Kronos, provides software to the district. District 3 candidate Meg Schomp believed opponent Mike Johnson could not meet the board's ethical standards due to his work as a school finance consultant. Johnson pointed out that Schomp's husband is an attorney who has represented the district in past legal actions.[6]

District 4 candidate Roger Kilgore asked his opponent, incumbent Landri Taylor, to resign due to a conflict-of-interest allegation. Kilgore noted that Taylor is the CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, which has a $142,962 contract with the district for after-school programs. Taylor criticized Kilgore's request and argued that the agreement occurred after Taylor was a board member. He also suggested that he would recuse himself if the board voted on issues related to agreements with the Urban League.[7]

School reform in Denver

The 2013 election has developed into a referendum on the reforms set in motion by Superintendent Tom Boasberg since his appointment in 2009. Boasberg has increased the district's emphasis on charter schools and closed poor-performing facilities. Opponents of Boasberg's reforms cite a persistent achievement gap between affluent and low-income student populations.[8]

The direction of the seven-member board could change significantly based on the results of this election. Three current members of the board are not seeking re-election. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) has endorsed at-large candidate Kiley, District 2 candidate Rosario C. de Baca, District 3 candidate Meg Schomp and Roger Kilgore in District 4. These candidates want to slow down or halt development of charter schools in the district. Democrats for Education Reform, a non-profit organization supporting Boasberg's reforms, has endorsed at-large candidate Barbara O'Brien, District 2 candidate Rosemary Rodriguez, Mike Johnson in District 3 and District 4 incumbent Landri Taylor.[9] With clear divisions between these two slates of candidates, Denver voters are able to express their views on district policies at the ballot box.

About the district

See also: Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Denver Public Schools is located in Denver County, CO
Denver Public Schools serves students in Denver, the county seat of Denver County, Colorado. According to the 2010 US Census, Denver is home to 600,158 residents.[10]


Denver outperformed the rest of Colorado in higher education achievement while lagging behind state rates for median income and poverty in 2010. The average household income in Denver was $47,499 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Denver was 18.8% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 41.3% of Denver residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2010[10]
Race Denver (%) Colorado (%)
White 68.9 81.3
Black or African American 10.2 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4 1.1
Asian 3.4 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 4.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 31.8 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 164,196 50.5
Unaffiliated 103,119 31.7
Republican 53,385 16.4
Libertarian 2,880 0.9
Green 1,187 0.4
American Constitution 630 0.2

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.[12] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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