Fall River Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Fall River 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
Fall River Public Schools
Bristol County, Massachusetts ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Massachusetts
Flag of Massachusetts.png

Six seats on the School Committee for Fall River Public Schools were up for general election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Joseph Martins, Mark Costa, Paul Hart, Gabriel Andrade and Robert Maynard along with newcomer Melissa Karam Panchley defeated challengers Russell Desbiens, Lori DeSousa and Dan Robillard to win the six seats.

About the district

See also: Fall River Public Schools, Massachusetts
Fall River Public Schools is located in Bristol County, Massachusetts
Fall River Public Schools is located in Bristol County, Massachusetts. The county seat of Bristol County is Taunton. According to the 2010 US Census, Bristol County is home to 551,082 residents.[1]


Bristol County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Massachusetts in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Bristol County was $55,813 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The poverty rate in Bristol County was 11.3% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 25.1% of Bristol County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Bristol County (%) Massachusetts (%)
White 91.1 83.7
Black or African American 4.3 7.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.5
Asian 2.1 5.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.8 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 6.4 10.1

Party Affiliation, 2012[2]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 123,044 36.43
Republican 34,914 10.34
Green-Rainbow 320 0.09
Unaffiliated 177,632 52.60
Other 1,800 0.53

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]

Method of board member selection

The Fall River School Committee consists of seven members, six of whom are elected to two-year terms. The seventh member and Chair of the board is Fall River's mayor. The other six members of the board are elected at-large by the district as a whole. There was no primary election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. All six at-large seats were on the ballot in 2013.[4]

Individuals interested in running for the board began circulating nominating petitions on April 23, 2013. The filing deadline for the 2013 general election was July 23. Each candidate had to file a notarized candidate affidavit and nomination petitions with at least 50 valid signatures.[5]





  • Joseph Martins
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Northeastern University
    • Retired educator
  • Mark Costa
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Bridgewater State College
    • Special investigator, Massachusetts Probation Department
  • Paul Hart
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, American International College
    • Social worker, Department of Transitional Assistance
  • Gabriel Andrade
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Bryant College
    • Retired guidance counselor

  • Melissa Karam Panchley
    • Graduate, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
    • Senior property manager, Karam Financial Group
  • Dan Robillard
    • Graduate, Bristol Community College
    • Tutor, Bristol Community College

Election results

Fall River Public Schools, At-large General Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph Martins Incumbent 15.6% 6,484
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMelissa Karam Panchley 15% 6,263
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMark Costa Incumbent 14.4% 5,996
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Hart Incumbent 12.6% 5,240
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGabriel Andrade Incumbent 12.2% 5,063
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRobert Maynard Incumbent 10.9% 4,543
     Nonpartisan Lori DeSousa 8% 3,352
     Nonpartisan Dan Robillard 7% 2,926
     Nonpartisan Russell Desbiens 4.3% 1,797
Total Votes 41,664
Source: Jo C. Goode, The Herald News, "No changes in order following release of official Fall River election results," November 13, 2013


The Herald News endorsed Joseph Martins, Mark Costa, Paul Hart, Gabriel Andrade, Robert Maynard and Melissa Karam Panchley for this election.[6]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $45,679.75 and spent a total of $25,555.39 during the election, according to the Fall River City Clerk. Joseph Martins, Mark Costa, Gabriel Andrade and Melissa Karam Panchley were the only candidates to file campaign finance reports.[7] The other candidates were not required to file campaign finance reports since their campaigns did not have at least $1,000 in financial activity during the reporting period. These numbers therefore do not include any contributions to or expenditures by those candidates.[8]

Panchley raised and spent significantly more than other candidates in the race. She reported many contributions between $100 and $500 from local business owners and executives in a variety of industries, along with donations of $100 each from former United States Senator Scott Brown and the "Scott Brown Re-Election Committee."[9]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Joseph Martins $3,060.00 $3,695.94 -$2,013.63
Mark Costa $2,603.75 $1,313.85 $1,292.28
Paul Hart $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Gabriel Andrade $5,395.00 $2,871.96 $890.61
Robert Maynard $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Melissa Karam Panchley $34,621.00 $17,673.64 $16,837.36
Russell Desbiens $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Lori DeSousa $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Dan Robillard $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

There were six seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Five of the six incumbents ran successfully for re-election, including Joseph Martins, Mark Costa, Paul Hart, Gabriel Andrade and Robert Maynard. Fellow incumbent Richard Pavao did not file for re-election. They were challenged by four candidates, including Melissa Karam Panchley, Russell Desbiens, Lori DeSousa and Dan Robillard.

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Fall River Public Schools election in 2013:[5]

Deadline Event
April 23, 2013 First day to pick up nominating petitions
July 19, 2013 Last day to pick up nominating petitions
July 23, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions
October 16, 2013 Last day to register to vote in the city general election
November 5, 2013 Election day

Additional elections on the ballot

This election only shared the ballot with other municipal elections. Fall River's Mayor and School Committee Chair, Will Flanagan, won re-election this year. All nine seats on the City Council were also up for election.[10]

See also

External links

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