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Susan Richardson

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Susan Richardson
Susan Richardson.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, South Washington County School Board, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionClinical laboratory scientist
Campaign website
Susan Richardson was a candidate for an at-large seat on the South Washington County school board. She did not win a seat in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Susan Richardson has earned undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Microbiology. She began her career as an AP Biology teacher in Montana. In 1998, she moved to Minnesota and became certified as a medical technologist and clinical laboratory scientist, performing several clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies in both the United States and Canada before retiring in 1994 to focus on her family.[1]



See also: South Washington County Schools elections (2013)


Susan Richardson and David W. Firkus lost to incumbent Laurie Johnson for the sole at-large seat with a two-year term in the general election on November 5, 2013.


South Washington County Schools, At-large General Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLaurie Johnson Incumbent 51.2% 3,873
     Nonpartisan Susan Richardson 32.8% 2,484
     Nonpartisan David W. Firkus 15.3% 1,158
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.6% 47
Total Votes 7,562
Source: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Results for Selected Contests in School District No. 833 - South Washington County," accessed December 18, 2013


Susan Richardson reported $1,440.42 in contributions and $1,440.42 in expenditures to South Washington County Schools, which left her campaign with no debt or cash on hand.[2]


Susan Richardson ran alongside Leilani Holmstadt, who was competing for an at-large seat with a four-year term.[3]

Campaign themes

In an interview with Patch, Richardson provided the following campaign themes:[4]

Increased walking distances have negatively impacted many of the students and families in our district. When making transportation decisions, it is important to understand the hardships many families must endure and the added worry these decisions cause. Is it right that our students are forced to walk while our teachers and administrators have a $750,000 travel budget?

Nationalized programs, like Common Core, create a bureaucratic nightmare for parents, students and teachers by handing over local control of our schools to bureaucrats far removed from our classrooms. Educators need to respond quickly to the needs of the students they serve. Curriculum choices belong in the hands of local taxpayers.

You deserve a budget that discloses costs of specific education programs. A cost/benefit analysis is the only way to judge the effectiveness of programs offered by our schools. This analysis is not to be found in the budget matrix configured by an outside consultant.

Parents are concerned about the use of iPads in the classroom. The use of cutting edge technology implies cutting edge performance. In reality, it is critical thinking skills and hands on learning will unleash the creative and innovative power of our students and inspire them to ask bigger and better questions. This is the goal of a genuine education.

Rather than stepping into the future, let’s enable our children to leap forward by offering families something of value.

What was at stake?

There were five seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Four of the seats were for normal four year terms, but the fifth seat was to fill a vacancy on the board and carried only a two year term. Board Vice-Chair Tracy Brunnette and fellow incumbents David G. Kemper and Katy McElwee-Stevens sought re-election to four year terms, while incumbent Laurie Johnson filed for the two year term. The incumbents faced a total of thirteen challengers, eleven of whom competed for the four year terms and two of whom challenged Johnson for the two year term.

About the district

See also: South Washington County Schools, Minnesota
South Washington County Schools is located in Washington County, Minnesota
South Washington County Schools is located in Washington County, Minnesota. The county seat of Washington County is Stillwater. According to the 2010 United States Census, Washington County is home to 244,088 residents.[5]


Washington County outperformed the rest of Minnesota in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Washington County was $79,571 compared to $58,476 for the state of Minnesota. The poverty rate in Washington County was 5.7% compared to 11.0% for the entire state. The United States Census Bureau also found that 40.0% of Washington County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 31.8% in Minnesota.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race Washington County (%) Minnesota (%)
White 88.2 85.3
Black or African American 4.0 5.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 1.1
Asian 5.3 4.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Z 0.0
Two or More Races 2.0 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 3.6 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[6]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 70,203 69,137
2008 70,277 64,334
2004 61,395 65,751
2000 49,637 51,502

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.[7]

Recent news

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