Stamford Public Schools elections (2013)
Method of election
What was at stake?
Stamford Public Schools
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 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%).
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. 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. 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:
- Graduate, University of Pennsylvania
- Camp director, Long Drive Camp
- Retired educator
- Real estate attorney
- Owner, The Tanzia Group
- Graduate, University of Chicago and Pace University
|Stamford Public Schools, General Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Democratic||Geoff Alswanger Incumbent||22.5%||11,311|
|Democratic||Richard Lyons, II Incumbent||20.9%||10,500|
|Republican||John Leydon, Jr. Incumbent||19.7%||9,906|
|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.
No contributions or expenditures were reported during the election, according to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Information about earlier elections can be found by clicking [show] at the right.
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.
The following dates were key deadlines for the Stamford 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 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.
- 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
- Stamford Public Schools, Connecticut
- Fairfield County, Connecticut ballot measures
- Stamford Board of Education
- City of Stamford
- Connecticut Secretary of State
- Stamford Democratic Town Committee
- Stamford Republican Town Committee
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Stamford," 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
- Stamford Advocate, "Stamford ed board candidates talk bullying, portables and how to dress," October 3, 2013
- Stamford Advocate, "Leydon, Lyons and Alswanger for school board," October 31, 2013
- Stamford Advocate, "Stamford schools overcrowding likely to involve redistricting," September 26, 2013
- Connecticut Office of Government Accountability, "November Municipal Candidate Committees Calendar," accessed October 9, 2013
- City of Stamford, "Elected Officers of the City," accessed October 9, 2013