Norwalk Public Schools elections (2013)
Method of election
What was at stake?
Norwalk Public Schools
Four seats on the Norwalk Board of Education were up for election on November 5, 2013. Ten candidates sought election to the board, including four Democrats, four Republicans and two Norwalk Community Values Party candidates. Heidi Keyes, Artie Kassimis, Shirley Mosby and Sherelle Harris defeated eight challengers to win four at-large seats.
About the district
- See also: Norwalk Public Schools, Connecticut
Norwalk outperforms the rest of Connecticut based on median income, poverty levels and higher education achievement. The 2010 U.S. Census found the median income in Norwalk was $76,384 while the state median income was $69,243. The city's poverty rate was 8% compared to the state's 9.5% poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (40.2%) was higher than the state average (35.7%).
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.
Method of board member selection
The Norwalk Board of Education consists of nine members who are elected at-large for four-year terms. The Democratic and Republican Party Town Committees in Norwalk endorsed candidates in July and August 2013 for the board elections. Four seats were up for election in 2013, and five seats will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015.
State law requires a minimum of three seats to be held by minority parties following each election. On November 5, 2013, voters were able to choose any three candidates on the ballot regardless of party. The four candidates who received the most votes won election to the board.
The candidates on the November 5, 2013 ballot were:
- Assistant director, Norwalk Public Library System
- Graduate, Norwalk Community College
- Owner, Creative Kids of Silvermine
- Graduate, Albertus Magnus College
- Senior client executive, JP Morgan
- Graduate, Parsons School of Design and Charter Oak State College
- Pastor, World Alive Bible Church
- Graduate, University of Connecticut
- Consultant, Global Smile Foundation
- Graduate, Harvard College and University of Virginia
- Graduate, Southern Connecticut State University
- Adult probation officer, CSSD
- Veteran, U.S. Army National Guard
|Norwalk Public Schools, General Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Democratic||Heidi Keyes Incumbent||12.2%||6,985|
|Republican||Artie Kassimis Incumbent||12.1%||6,917|
|Republican||Sue Haynie Incumbent||11.4%||6,500|
|Norwalk Community Values||Steve Colarossi Incumbent||3.6%||2,073|
|Norwalk Community Values||Andres Roman||3.1%||1,795|
|Working Families||Shirley Mosby||1.1%||610|
|Working Families||Heidi Keyes||0.9%||532|
|Source: Connecticut Secretary of State, "Municipal Elections - November 5, 2013," accessed December 17, 2013|
No contributions or expenditures were reported during the election, according to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.
What was at stake?
Four seats were at stake. Incumbents Steve Colarossi, Sue Haynie, Artie Kassimis and Heidi Keyes were on the ballot. Of the incumbents, only Democratic candidate Keyes and Republican candidate Kassimis won re-election to the board. The ballot featured a total of ten candidates, including four candidates each from the local Democratic and Republican Town Committees and a pair of candidates from the Norwalk Community Values Party. The Working Families Party endorsed Democratic candidates Heidi Keyes and Shirley Mosby for the November 5 election. Neither of the Norwalk Community Values Party candidates, Steve Colarossi nor Andres Roman, won election to the board.
Tensions on the board
Sue Haynie, who did not win re-election on November 5, 2013, had been involved in several tense discussions over district policies since January 2013. She engaged in a heated debate with board member Steve Colarossi, also not re-elected on November 5, 2013, over a request to read comments into board minutes in March 2013. Haynie's request was challenged by Colarossi on the grounds that board policy treats minutes as a summary of events rather than a detailed record of each meeting. In January 2013, the Norwalk Federation of Teachers criticized Haynie as an advocate for the district's inclusion in a state teacher evaluation pilot. The criticism cited the delayed roll-out of the evaluation system as an indicator of the pilot's failings. In an interview with The Hour, Haynie noted that she asks tough questions and is willing to try new approaches to improve student achievement.
The following dates were key deadlines for the Norwalk Board of Education election in 2013:
|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 Norwalk Board of Education elections shared the ballot with other local elections. Residents of Norwalk cast ballots for mayor, city sheriff and seats on the city council on November 5, 2013.
- School board elections review: Voters opt for experience over new blood in nation's largest school districts
- School board election wrap-up: Incumbents re-elected overwhelmingly in November 5 elections
- List of school board elections in 2013
- Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut
- Hartford County, Connecticut ballot measures
- District page
- City of Norwalk
- Connecticut Secretary of State
- Norwalk Democratic Town Committee
- Norwalk Republican Town Committee
- Norwalk Community Values Party
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Norwalk," accessed October 24, 2013
- Connecticut Secretary of State, "Election Results," accessed October 10, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Connecticut General Assembly, "Minority Representation Requirements," accessed October 7, 2013
- The Hour, " Norwalk Democrats receive endorsement of Connecticut Working Families Party," September 4, 2013
- The Hour, " Haynie at center of Norwalk school board tension," accessed March 6, 2013
- Connecticut Office of Government Accountability, "November Municipal Candidate Committees Calendar," accessed October 14, 2013