First up, the King County Democrats had an endorsement meeting this past week. None of the incumbents won an endorsement. Apparently, Sherry's was the closest vote but she still lost.
Initially, both Michelle Buetow (Harium's announced challenger) and Kate Martin (Sherry's announced challenger) both won endorsement from the endorsement panel. But they held a hand-count vote and Kate lost endorsement by a handful of votes. Michelle retained her endorsement and was the only candidate for School Board endorsed.
I have seen campaign letters from Steve Sundquist and Sherry Carr. Both are somewhat disappointing. Both are asking for early endorsements. (FYI, Peter seems to have quite a large number of endorsements at this stage.)
Steve's is much shorter. He points out the NSAP passed and new teacher and principal contracts with new assessments were also passed. This is true and this is progress. However, his next category is "School and District Accountability and Transparency" and talks about school scorecards and "related resource allocations to drive school improvement." I don't know what the latter references. I can say that there aren't a lot of parents who either don't understand or have faith in the school scorecards. I'm not sure I'd count that one.
He also mentions "fiscal responsibility" which is "Continuing to make the difficult decisions required to remain financially solvent and live within our means in these difficult times." If I were running against Steve, this is the one I would pound home. Where was he when Potter was running around unfettered? He and ALL the Board had opportunities to intervene and did not.
Sherry's campaign letter is a doubled-sided piece. Among the accomplishments she points out:
- investments like new textbooks (true to some degree) and "We have continued to invest in professional development, tools and support for teachers to ensure quality instruction in every classroom. These changes benefit all students and are fundamental to closing the achievement gap." This is assuming that all that needs to get done is on the teacher end. Is that valid?
- teacher/principal contracts, more students in AP, IB and Advanced Learning.
- "We have ensured financial stability in spite of the worst recession since the Great Depression." First, they have to have a balanced budget so it's not like the Board has a choice. Second, I'm not sure that even Robert Boesche would say the district is completely financially stable. "We worked together to successful minimize cuts to our classrooms." Is that true? Did this Board do everything they could have to keep cuts from the classroom? I think that's up for debate.
- "We have demonstrated real leadership." Here she points to the NSAP, new transportation system saving money (but where did the savings go? never answered), closing schools(!) and reopening others(!) and taking care of the financial scandal. I'm not sure she thought this paragraph through because it looks like a lot of flip-flopping.
In West Seattle, I also hear rumblings of a candidate or two but nothing firm yet. I do think if every incumbent had 2 challengers, the positives would outweigh the negatives. I also think that if a miracle happened (and I suspect it would be in West Seattle because Steve doesn't seem to be making people happy despite the warm feelings people have for him personally) and one incumbent got knocked out in the primary - now THAT would be a game-changer.