School District of Palm Beach County elections (2014)

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2014 School District of Palm Beach County Elections

General Election date:
August 26, 2014
Runoff Election date:
November 4, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What's at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Florida
School District of Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County, Florida ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Florida
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Four seats on the Palm Beach County School Board were up for general election on August 26, 2014. The general election determines if candidates for each seat can garner a majority of the vote total. Because no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the general election votes in District 4, the top two vote recipients advance to the runoff election on November 4, 2014.

Karen Brill won re-election in District 3 against John Michael Hartman and David Benoit Mech. The District 4 race included newcomers Justin Katz, Larry F. Rosensweig, Thomas G. Sutterfield and Erica Whitfield. Whitfield advanced to the runoff election in first place. A recount was held to determine whether Sutterfield or Katz would advance to the runoff election, and Sutterfield's lead held.

Incumbent Marcia Andrews faced and defeated newcomers Carla Donaldson and Joe Moore in District 6. The District 7 race featured incumbent Debra L. Robinson who defeated challenger Piaget "Peppi" Hendrix.

About the district

See also: School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
School District of Palm Beach County is located in Palm Beach County, Florida
The School District of Palm Beach County is based in West Palm Beach, the county seat of Palm Beach County, Florida. Palm Beach County is home to 1,372,171 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[1] The School District of Palm Beach County is the fifth-largest school district in Florida, serving 176,901 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[2]

Demographics

Palm Beach County outperformed the rest of Florida in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 32.5 percent of Palm Beach County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.2 percent for Florida as a whole. The median household income in Palm Beach County was $52,806 compared to $47,309 for the state of Florida. The poverty rate in Palm Beach County was 14.0 percent compared to 15.6 percent for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Palm Beach County (%) Florida (%)
White 76.9 78.3
Black or African American 18.2 16.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.5
Asian 2.6 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.6 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 20.1 23.2

Party registration, 2014[3]
Party Number of registered voters
Democratic 366,528
Other 236,756
Republican 235,428
Total 838,712

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.[4]

Method of board member selection

The Palm Beach County School Board consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. Each member is elected to a specific geographic district. There was a general election on August 26, 2014 and the runoff election takes place on November 4, 2014 if no candidate receives 50 percent or more of the general election vote.

Candidates for the school board filed for the election by June 20, 2014. The county's elections office hosted early voting for the general election at various locations from August 16, 2014, to August 23, 2014. The early voting window for the runoff election runs from October 25, 2014, to November 1, 2014. The last day to request a mailed absentee ballot in the general election was August 20, 2014, and the runoff election deadline is October 29, 2014.

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

  • Karen Brill Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Palm Beach Atlantic College
    • Realtor, The Keyes Company
  • John Michael Hartman
    • Graduate, West Virginia Wesleyan College and University of North Carolina-Greensboro
    • Law student, St. Thomas University
  • David Benoit Mech
    • Graduate, Michigan State University and Arizona State University
    • Owner, Happy/Fun Math Tutor Company

  • Justin Katz
    • Graduate, Florida Atlantic University
    • Teacher, Park Vista High School
  • Larry F. Rosensweig
    • Graduate, Harvard University and University of Michigan
    • Museum consultant
  • Thomas G. Sutterfield
    • Graduate, Georgia Institute of Technology
    • IT administrator, South Florida Water Management District
  • Erica Whitfield
    • Graduate, University of Florida and Emory University
    • District wellness coordinator

  • Marcia Andrews Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Florida Atlantic University and Nova University
    • Former district principal and human resources officer
    • Owner, Up Front Consulting, LLC
  • Carla Donaldson
    • Office manager, JMD Engineering
  • Joe Moore
    • Former chief financial officer and chief financial officer for district

  • Piaget "Peppi" Hendrix
    • Graduate, Faulkner University and Alabama A&M University
    • Elementary school teacher in district
  • Debra L. Robinson Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Michigan State University and Howard University
    • Physician, West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Election results

Runoff election
District 4

A runoff election for District 4 between Erica Whitfield and Thomas G. Sutterfield will be held November 4, 2014.

General election
District 3
School District of Palm Beach County, District 3 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKaren Brill Incumbent 80% 15,802
     Nonpartisan John Michael Hartman 15.5% 3,062
     Nonpartisan David Benoit Mech 4.5% 891
Total Votes 19,755
Source: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed September 9, 2014
District 4
School District of Palm Beach County, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngErica Whitfield 32.2% 4,962
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngThomas G. Sutterfield 25% 3,850
     Nonpartisan Justin Katz 24.6% 3,796
     Nonpartisan Larry F. Rosensweig 18.3% 2,816
Total Votes 15,424
Source: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election SCHOOL BOARD DIST. 4 - RECOUNT," accessed September 10, 2014
District 6
School District of Palm Beach County, District 6 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMarcia Andrews Incumbent 57% 7,200
     Nonpartisan Joe Moore 32.4% 4,087
     Nonpartisan Carla Donaldson 10.6% 1,335
Total Votes 12,622
Source: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed September 9, 2014
District 7
School District of Palm Beach County, District 7 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDebra L. Robinson Incumbent 71.7% 8,971
     Nonpartisan Piaget "Peppi" Hendrix 28.3% 3,538
Total Votes 12,509
Source: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed September 9, 2014

Endorsements

District 3

Karen Brill received endorsements from the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, the Palm Beach County School Administrators Association and the Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO [5]

District 4

Thomas G. Sutterfield earned endorsements from the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County (BIZPAC), Boynton Beach Mayor Jerry Taylor and former Boynton Beach Mayor Woodrow Hay.[6] Erica Whitfield received endorsements from Associated Builders and Contractors, the Palm Beach County chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus of Florida and State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D).[7]

District 6

Marcia Andrews received endorsements from the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO and State Rep. Dave Kerner (D).[8] Joe Moore earned endorsements from the PBC School Administrators Association, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County (BIZPAC) and former board chairs Tom Lynch and Monroe Benaim.[9]

District 7

Debra L. Robinson received endorsements from the Florida Now PAC, the AFL-CIO and the PBC District Staff Association.[10] Piaget "Peppi" Hendrix earned endorsements from the Palm Beach County Teachers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Master.[11]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $173,954.27 and spent a total of $88,213.10 by July 21, 2014, according to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.[12]

In the District 3 race, candidates raised a total of $24,414 and spent a total of $14,847.08.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures
Karen Brill $12,594.00 $5,759.78
David Benoit Mech $4,086.28 $1,518.42
John Michael Hartman $7,810.00 $7,568.88

In the District 4 race, candidates raised a total of $63,074.32 and spent a total of $29,250.27.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures
Justin Katz $22,103.00 $13,353.27
Larry F. Rosensweig $6,275.00 $4,379.36
Thomas G. Sutterfield $8,005.00 $7,217.93
Erica Whitfield $26,691.32 $4,299.71

In the District 6 race, candidates raised a total of $70,641.48 and spent a total of $35,055.72.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures
Marcia Andrews $25,435.00 $15,361.17
Carla Donaldson $18,048.59 $17,306.85
Joe Moore $27,157.89 $2,387.70

In the District 7 race, candidates raised a total of $15,824.47 and spent a total of $9,060.03.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures
Piaget "Peppi" Hendrix $5,199.00 $4,020.34
Debra L. Robinson $10,625.47 $5,039.69

Past elections

What's at stake?

Issues in the election

Former adult film star on the ballot

David Benoit Mech has attracted national attention for his candidacy because of his previous career as an adult film star. The candidate, known as Dave Pounder in his films, changed careers in 2010 after 13 years and more than 100 movies. Mech opened Happy/Fun Math Tutor Company in Palm Beach County and provided math tutoring services to district students until 2013. District parents found out about Mech's adult film career that year and demanded that district schools remove banners advertising his tutoring services. Administrators also instructed principals to remove Happy/Fun Math Tutor Company from their list of preferred tutoring services. Mech filed a lawsuit against the district in 2013, seeking compensation for the downturn in business due to the district's decision. The lawsuit has not been resolved, as of July 21, 2014.[13]

Mech has campaigned to improve classroom technology, expand sex education and add condom receptacles in district schools. He is challenging incumbent Karen Brill, who is best known for her April 2014 proposal for stricter dress codes for parents attending district functions. Brill's proposal to ban sweatpants and pajamas from school events was rejected by fellow board members after only 12 minutes of debate.[13]

July 8 candidate forum for District 3

The Palm Beach County Tea Party hosted a forum for all three candidates in District 3 on July 8, 2014. Karen Brill, John Michael Hartman and David Benoit Mech demonstrated clear differences in their views on term limits, data mining and Common Core standards. Brill and Hartman expressed support for term limits on school board members, and Mench expressed mild opposition while noting that he hasn't thought much about the issue. Brill and Hartman also shared their opposition to the idea of mining student data to anticipate student struggles. Mench supported data mining for predictive purposes. When asked about Common Core, Mench and Brill voiced their support for the standards with Hartman advocating strongly against their implementation.[14]

Key deadlines

The following dates are key deadlines for the school board election in 2014:[15]

Deadline Event
June 20, 2014 Last day of candidate filing period
August 16, 2014 First day of early voting in general election
August 20, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for general election
August 23, 2014 Last day of early voting in general election
August 26, 2014 General election day
October 25, 2014 First day of early voting in runoff election
October 29, 2014 Last day to request mailed absentee ballot for runoff election
November 1, 2014 Last day of early voting in runoff election
November 4, 2014 Runoff election day

Additional elections on the ballot

Area residents will vote on county and statewide races on November 4, 2014. Residents of Palm Beach County will vote on races for seats on the county commission, county courts and special districts. The November 4, 2014 ballot includes races for state legislature, state executive and U.S. House seats.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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