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John Graham (Colorado)

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John Graham
John Graham (Colorado).jpg
Former candidate for
Falcon School District 49 Board of Education, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Marine Corps
Office website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
John Graham was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education in Colorado. He lost election against five other candidates for three available seats on November 5, 2013.


Graham holds an A.S. in Engineering Science, B.S. in General Studies and M.S. in Management. He served for 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Graham has five children who have attended or currently attend district schools.[1]



See also: Falcon School District 49 elections (2013)


Graham sought election to the board against incumbents Henry D. Allen, Jr. and Tammy Harold as well as fellow challengers Chris Bombria, Kevin Butcher and David H. Moore.

Election results

Falcon School District 49, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Harold Incumbent 25.6% 7,331
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Butcher 18.4% 5,261
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDavid H. Moore 17.2% 4,927
     Nonpartisan John Graham 15% 4,304
     Nonpartisan Chris Bombria 13.3% 3,816
     Nonpartisan Henry D. Allen, Jr. Incumbent 10.6% 3,025
Total Votes 28,664
Source: El Paso County, Colorado, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 14, 2013


Graham reported $1,282.72 in contributions and $1,282.72 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with no cash on hand.[2]


Graham received the endorsement of the Falcon Teachers Education Association (FTEA) during the 2013 campaign.[3]

Campaign themes


Graham explained his views on the major issues facing the district for the Gazette Voter Guide:[4]

Pressing issues for the district

"I believe the School Board should represent the educational needs and values of our community. I want to empower our teachers, parents, and community to reach positive and innovative local solutions. The Board needs to focus on goals and policies that provide all our children a safe, encouraging, and positive learning environment while performing in a transparent, inclusive, and civil manner. I believe I have the leadership skills to encourage the Board to work in a cohesive manner. I will work to encourage involvement from our stakeholders and be the crucial link between the public and schools. The District is also faced with an increasing student population and limited facilities/resources that we can address together as a team."

Areas of emphasis

"I believe the School Board needs to provide the resources required by teachers and staff to achieve the highest quality education for our students while also being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars. We need to focus on the strategic vision and priorities developed by D49 stakeholders, engage stakeholders to better determine programs and policies that support these priorities, promote empowerment and innovation, and keep in mind the taxpayer “foots” the bills. Areas we should focus on are the educational needs of students, facilities, training (especially in the area of special education), and competitive compensation to retain the best qualified teachers and staff."

Amendment 66

"I do not support Amendment 66. This ballot measure will effectively take more tax payer money out of D49 to be redistributed to other districts then we will get back. The ballot measure is not a local solution and I do not believe it is by D49 voters. If the ballot does pass, I will engage the public and other District stakeholders to discuss the best way to allocate the resources and come up with a team solution."

Academic performance

"This is a very complex question. There are many metrics that affect student achievement. It boils down to if we are and how we are addressing the educational needs of each student. If 70 percent of the children are proficient, this means that 30 percent are not. Those who are not proficient need more individual attention, educator time, and resources to lift their achievement levels. The Board can work with the community, teachers, students, and staff to set policies in place and attitudes that can positively affect this achievement."

What was at stake?

Candidate interviews

Incumbents Henry D. Allen, Jr. and Tammy Harold sought re-election to the board. The ballot included challengers Graham, Chris Bombria, Kevin Butcher and David H. Moore. Member Christopher Wright did not file for re-election in 2013.

Conflict of interest concerns

Dana Palmer, the chair of the District Accountability and Advisory Committee, has raised conflict-of-interest concerns about the candidacy of Kevin Butcher. Butcher is the president of Tutt Commercial Center LLC, which currently leases real estate to the district for administrative offices. He has also acted as an intermediary between Eastern Colorado Bank and Falcon School District during negotiations to rent space for the Falcon Virtual Academy. Palmer is concerned that Butcher "will not be able to make unbiased decisions" about district finances if he wins on November 5, 2013. Butcher has countered that the district agreed to a lease with Tutt well before his candidacy and he would not be biased if the district pursues leases or other real estate transactions.[5]

About the district

See also: Falcon School District 49, Colorado
Falcon School District 49 is located in El Paso County, CO
Falcon School District 49 is based out of Peyton in El Paso County, Colorado. The district serves students in six communities including Colorado Springs, Elbert, Ellicott, Falcon, Monument and Peyton. According to the 2010 US Census, El Paso County is home to 622,263 residents.[6]


El Paso County lagged behind state averages for median income and higher education achievement while outperforming the state poverty rate in 2010. The average household income in El Paso County was $57,079 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in El Paso County was 11.7% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 35.1% of El Paso County residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to a 36.3% rate in Colorado.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2010[6]
Race El Paso County (%) Colorado (%)
White 84.1 88.1
Black or African American 6.8 4.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.3 1.6
Asian 2.9 3
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.2
Two or More Races 4.5 2.8
Hispanic or Latino 15.6 21

Party Affiliation, 2013[7]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 141,493 45.7
Unaffiliated 95,849 31
Democratic 68,290 22.1
Libertarian 2,417 0.8
American Constitution 730 0.2
Green 635 0.2

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[8][9]

Recent news

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