Since Wednesday morning, I have been having conversations with people about the election results. And when it comes to the School Board election results, which are of particular interest to me because I have gotten to know many of the people involved, I have spent a fair amount of time in discussion about the "meaning" of the results.
I didn't find the results a surprise, given the primary results, the buzz, and the media endorsements. But I did find some of the specific numbers and margins of victory surprising. For example, I find the number of votes David Blomstrom received alarming. How could 18,562 people (and still counting) vote for him? Are those the voters who haven't read anything about a candidate and just choose based on name? And the margin of victory of Steve Sundquist over Maria Ramirez also surprises me. Everyone I talked with had high opinions of both of the candidates, and I expected the result to be much closer, although I guess the current general election margin (61% to 39%) is actually smaller than it was in the primary (50% to 23%).
I hope that all three of the intelligent and principled losers in the School Board races---Maria Ramirez, Sally Soriano and Darlene Flynn---will stay active in Seattle School politics. Their activist voices are extremely important to ensure a balance in the discussion about our public schools. (Of course, the same can be said for Brita Butler-Wall and Irene Stewart, who didn't run for re-election.)
To read another person's interpretation of the School Board election results, read former Board member Dick Lilly's piece in Crosscut today, Why voters expelled the Seattle School Board class of 2003.