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Stamford Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Stamford Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Stamford Public Schools
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Three seats on the Stamford Board of Education were up for election on November 5, 2013. Six candidates sought election to the board. Geoff Alswanger, Richard Lyons II and John Leydon, Jr. defeated Dolores Burgess, Nicola Tarzia and Richard Duffee to win three at-large seats.

A debate has developed within the district over solutions to overcrowded schools and aging facilities.

About the district

See also: Stamford Public Schools, Connecticut
Stamford Public Schools is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Stamford Public Schools is located in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut. The population of Stamford was 122,643 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[1]


Stamford outperformed the rest of Connecticut based on median income and poverty levels but lags behind in higher education achievement in 2010. The 2010 U.S. Census found the median income in Stamford was $78,201 while the state median income was $69,243. The city's poverty rate was 11% compared to the state's 9.5% poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (43.9%) was higher than the state average (35.7%).[1]

Racial Demographics, 2010[1]
Race Stamford (%) Connecticut (%)
White 65 77.6
Black or African American 13.9 10.1
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.3
Asian 7.9 3.8
Two or More Races 3.2 2.6
Hispanic or Latino 23.8 13.4

Presidential Voting Pattern[2]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 62.3 36.8
2008 64.1 35.3
2004 58.6 40.1
2000 62 34.3

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

Method of board member selection

The Stamford Board of Education consists of nine members who are elected at-large to three-year terms. The Democratic and Republican Town Committees in Stamford endorsed candidates in July 2013 for the board elections. Three seats are up for election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday each November.

State law requires a minimum of three seats to be held by minority parties following each election.[4] The composition of the board heading into the November 2013 election was six Democrats and three Republicans. On November 5, 2013, voters were able to choose any three candidates on the ballot regardless of party. The three candidates who received the most votes won election to the board.




The candidates on the November 5, 2013 ballot were:

Democratic Party Geoff Alswanger

  • Incumbent
  • Graduate, University of Pennsylvania
  • Camp director, Long Drive Camp

Democratic Party Richard Lyons II

  • Incumbent

Democratic Party Dolores Burgess

  • Retired educator

Republican Party John Leydon, Jr.

  • Incumbent
  • Real estate attorney

Republican Party Nicola Tarzia

  • Owner, The Tanzia Group

Green Party Richard Duffee

  • Graduate, University of Chicago and Pace University
  • Lawyer

Election results

Stamford Public Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGeoff Alswanger Incumbent 22.5% 11,311
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Lyons II Incumbent 20.9% 10,500
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Leydon, Jr. Incumbent 19.7% 9,906
     Democratic Dolores Burgess 18.4% 9,238
     Democratic Nicola Tarzia 16.5% 8,314
     Green Richard Duffee 2% 994
Total Votes 50,263
Source: Connecticut Secretary of State, "Municipal Elections - November 5, 2013," accessed December 17, 2013


The Parent-Teacher Council hosted a candidate forum at the Stamford Government Center on October 2, 2013. All candidates except [[Richard Duffee] were in attendance and gave their thoughts on district approaches to bullying, dress codes and portable classrooms. The candidates largely supported the district's efforts to deal with bullying though John Leydon, Jr. believed that more could be done to deal with bullying and harassment. Nicola Tarzia was vocal in his support for school uniforms throughout the district to improve the school environment and generate revenue. Leydon, Lyons and Dolores Burgess did not place school uniforms as a priority while Geoff Alswanger noted that the district already has policies about appropriate school attire. The candidates agreed on the use of portable classrooms in the short term to ease overcrowding at district schools.[5]


The Stamford Advocate endorsed Geoff Alswanger, John Leydon, Jr. and Richard Lyons II on October 31, 2013.[6]

Campaign finance

No contributions or expenditures were reported during the election, according to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Past elections

What was at stake?

Three seats were at stake. Incumbent Democrats Geoff Alswanger and Richard Lyons II and incumbent Republican John Leydon, Jr. were on the ballot. All three won re-election to the board against Democratic challenger Dolores Burgess, Republican challenger Nicola Tarzia and Green Party challenger Richard Duffee.


The Board of Education is currently dealing with the issue of overcrowding that has emerged due to population growth in Fairfield County and inadequate infrastructure investment. Superintendent Winifred Hamilton has suggested five options for dealing with overcrowded classrooms including the use of 20 portable classrooms, renovating an office building to serve as a school and investing in a new school that would require up to 30 months of development.[7]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Stamford Board of Education election in 2013:[8]

Deadline Event
July 23, 2013 Last day for political party endorsements of candidates by town caucus or convention
July 24, 2013 Nominating petitions available for primary
August 7, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions for primary
September 10, 2013 Primary day
October 10, 2013 First campaign finance filing date following primary election
October 29, 2013 Last campaign finance filing filing date prior to general election
November 5, 2013 Election day
December 5, 2013 Certification of election results by county

Additional elections on the ballot

The Stamford Board of Education election shared the ballot with other local elections. Residents of Stamford cast ballots for mayor, seven constables, three seats on the Board of Finance and 40 seats on the Board of Representatives.[9]

See also

External links

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