A mob with torches
So we think we need to say what’s really on our mind about the school board results thus far. Basically, we’ve been asking ourselves, “What the hell happened?”
Now, this isn’t a note of disrespect for any of the five candidates who ran for the three open board seats (and who, to be fair, are still running, since the county still has 150,000 ballots to count). But we’ll be honest: We expected incumbents Janet Gibson and David Forbes to win. Handily.
We were relying on conventional political wisdom, which tells us that absent a mob with torches, incumbents tend to get re-elected. We figured the two incumbents would win on name recognition alone, and that they had developed a big enough base of voter support from their previous electoral efforts to see them through this one. We thought the newcomers would be left to fight for Bill Schaff’s soon-to-be-vacated seat.
So back to our original question: What happened? We spent a good part of Wednesday asking everyone we could corner for their take on that one. Theories ranged from anger over Measure H and/or the subsequent lawsuits over it to support for charter schools (two of which the board denied this year) to concerns about the budget and a general feeling that the district is being mismanaged. We even looked at the ballot order to see if folks who maybe didn’t know who they wanted to pick simply took the first three candidates (that would have been Mooney, Spencer, Forbes).
Gibson said she thinks people were voting in the spirit of the presidential race, for change. But after apparently getting it all wrong this time, we’re going to hold off on the speculation. Instead, we’re just going to ask: What were the factors that motivated you to vote the way you did?
You can let us know one of two ways: Write us a comment below (click the “comments” link below, type your comment in the box, click the “Name” button and type in your name) or participate in our handy-dandy poll, in the top right corner.