Peaslee Takes the Lead

Latest Results
As of 11/15/2011 4:17:11 PM

Director District No. 1
Peter Maier. . . . . . . . . . 67294. . . . . . .  49.80%
Sharon Peaslee. . . . . . 67385. . . . . . .  49.87%
Write-in. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  452. . . . . . . . .0.33%


mirmac1 said…
Methinks Maier hears the sounds of footsteps behind, no in front!, of him!
whittier07 said…
Whoop, whoop!
Kate Martin said…
Thrilling! This is wonderful wonderful news.
Anonymous said…
Woo hoo. I almost forgot to vote and managed to get my ballot in at about 6 PM at the local drop off box. I will be pleased see my vote counted.

Charlie Mas said…
The Stranger has the news.
Charlie Mas said…
The Seattle Times has the news.
Greg said…
Go Sharon!
Juana said…
Fantastic! Seems that later votes are favoring the contenders.
Anonymous said…
Hey Kate,
I emailed this out just a moment ago:

Hey Mel & Charlie,

Peaslee catching Meier is exciting news! But, have people noticed that with today's updated election tallies Marty also is increasing her lead and both Michelle and Kate made gains. Michelle is too far behind, but Kate is getting close. Probably not enough to make a difference.

Which leads me to wonder: what if she had had the endorsement and active support of SEA?

I really feel that SEA leadership, including endorsement committee, dropped the ball here. After getting a lame response from Jonathan Knapp as to why they wouldn't give Kate an endorsement, it's pretty clear no one at SEA bothered to do some basic homework about Kate. To hide behind the formalities of interviews by SEA's endorsement committee without going any further is inescusable, especially when Kate told me in response to my email question that she'd be pro-active in opting out of the TfA contract. That in itself should have been enough for SEA to work with Kate to find the common ground that I've been able to stand on with her in a couple of casual conversations.

All the best,

Ken Berry SpEd IA and SEA building rep Van Asselt
Anonymous said…
Ken - too bad you weren't at the SEA meeting last night, you could have heard Jonathan's version of history -

Having met all the challengers, I'm pretty sure they can count - and I'm pretty sure that they counted the number of official volunteers they had from SEA door belling each week, phone banking each week, leafleting each week, street corner sign waving each week, having house parties each week...

Fortunately the challengers care more about the system which doesn't serve the kids of the community than they care about who got invited to which super secret SEA meeting which provided a few bucks, fewer bodies and lots of wasted time.

Ironically, lots of us pitched in without getting invited to the super secret meetings and getting the super secret a.o.k. from the top - kind of grassroots like!

Anonymous said…
In today's batch, there were 17,409 ballots counted in District 1, of which Sharon Peaslee had 55.7%, Peter Maier 44.0%, and write-in 0.3%.

The State of Washington estimates that there are still 39,000 votes to be counted.

After 8 pm, King County should post how many ballots it received today.

Anonymous said…
Educated Educator Says

Ken don't forget that the SEA under the 'leadership' of Knapp and Addae ran a very last minute candidate (Dunn) against 'pro-teacher' Beutow in the primary. The thinking members of labor, in which I include myself, were p*** and continue to be, because it split the primary vote and strengthened Martin-Morris enough to run well . They blew it with Beutow and yes, they bobbled it with Kate Martin.

They did help McLaren, but altogether, this educator thinks the SEA was more hindrance than help in this election. Union leadership needs some strategy 101 lessons.

That said, my heart warms to see that all contenders have gained since the initial ballot release, despite my union's unhelp.
Linh-Co said…
This is so exciting. I never make wishes, but my daughter told me I had to make one on 11/11/11 at 11:11 and I wished Sharon P would win. Yahooey!
Anonymous said…
Educated Educator Says to TopDown Grassroots:

I made myself active in a few of the challenger's campaigns outside of the SEA. To my knowledge McLaren received an early endorsement, money and some volunteers and phone bank access. To my knowledge Peaslee received an endorsement early in the general, some money and no volunteers. To my knowledge Buetow received a last minute endorsement in the general, last minute money and no volunteers.

Back to my Strategy 101 for my union non-leadership.
Anonymous said…

King County Elections does not track when your ballot has been counted. After signature verification, your ballot essentially becomes secret, and there is no tracking of it.

The last data point is signature verification. If your ballot has not been received or if its signature has not been verified, you might want to contact King County Elections in the next day or two.

seattle citizen said…
While the Times and the Stranger have duly noted Ms. Peaslee's new lead, Chris Korsmo over at LEV has no comment on her weekly update of a few days ago, in which she says Seattle managed "to re-elect three of the four incumbents running for school board..."

Hmm...Guess she should have waited a tetch longer, eh? We'll see...
Jan said…
Kate -- I wish wish wish that we were celebrating for you and Michelle, too. You both played a great hand with little help from many who, I think, should have been your allies. I hope I get the chance to vote for you again at some point!
Anonymous said…
Educated Educator - to my knowledge the McLaren phonebank was from King County Labor Council, and rarely had more than a usual suspect or two from teacher world.

To my knowledge, from doing various stuff this summer and fall, these citizens ran hand to mouth shoe string campaigns. To the great credit of these citizens, the campaigns were to benefit the community at large and the campaigns got pretty much squat from the community at large - frankly, the community at large deserved "I quit" more than the community at large deserves these citizens.

Ya know those walmart ads about the rollbacks - well time to

Anonymous said…
King County Elections has posted that only 208 ballots came in today for Seattle School Board races.

Interesting. I wonder how many are on hand that haven't been tallied.

dan dempsey said…
State law requires a machine recount in any race where the final results show a difference of one-half of one percent or less between the top two candidates. Read more at

In races where the top two candidates receive a combined total of more than 60,000 votes, a manual (hand) recount is required when the difference between the two is less than 150 votes.

The one-half of one percent threshold means that if 140,000 votes were counted... a 700+ vote margin would be needed to avoid a recount.

At this point the question will likely be will a hand recount be required?

It seems at least a machine recount is very likely.

GRAB your Popcorn. I haven't been this interested since the first draft lottery was on the radio December 1, 1968.

My birthday is Dec. 2.... my birthday gift was the last December Birthday drawn #327.

Go Sharon .. Go Sharon .. Go.
dan dempsey said…
Correction that was December 1, 1969 for the first draft lottery. More info HERE.
Anonymous said…
This is HUGE! The votes have trended against the incompetent incumbents since Election Day. Go Sharon, Go!

Sharon Peaslee said…
Thanks to everyone for your support, encouragement, good info and good cheer. I've got enough popcorn for a week, a big fat candle burning, my full moon howls are echoing across the cosmos, and we'll have a big party no matter what.

If we win it will be a triumph of community spirit over special interests. If we don't win it will be a triumph of community spirit anyway.
dan dempsey said…
The stat analysis from a super stat man who works at Fred Hutch =>
Maier only beat Peaslee on the first two days of ballot counting.

Sharon had a 7.9% spread on Monday's ballot drop and needed to extend it to to an 11.5% spread to prevail.

There was an 11.7% spread in the last drop , and about 10,143 left to tally in the SB race.
(Using data from estimated votes in county yet to count, fraction cast for a candidate in the SB race, using the car tab tax as denominator, etc as model; Sharon got slightly more votes that predicted, largely because a greater fraction of ballots on Tuesday voted in the SB race than predicted on the basis of Monday data.)

The spread is the difference between the votes for the candidates i.e. 55.85% vs. 44.15%, disregarding write-ins. There are 10143 estimated left to vote in the race for a non-write in. Assuming the late votes are typical of the last batch, Sharon is predicted to get 11.7% more votes, or 1186, extending her lead of 91. They may not be, as these are typically votes with bad signatures, that need checking. Sharon can withstand a 0.8% spread against her and still win, and with all except the first 2 days of early ballots showing Sharon ahead, unless something very unusual happens in the presumably well-mixed cauldron of the late late returns, she will win.

Note by the above analysis it may be that Sharon can exceed the margin needed for victory without an automatic recount.

Currently about 135,000 votes have been counted .. another 10,000 takes this to 145,000 and a margin greater than 725 will win without an automatic recount.

That would require Sharon to gain a 634 vote differential on Peter in the last 10,000 votes.

634/10000 = .0634 = 6.34%

If Sharon takes 53% of 10,000
and Peter 47% of 10,000

Sharon gets 5300
and Peter get 4700

and Sharon wins by 691 an automatic recount happens

If Sharon takes 54% of 10,000
and Peter takes 46% of 10,000
Sharon gets 5400
and Peter gets 4600
and Sharon wins by 891 and no recount.

Grab POPCORN or a SAM ADAMS ... it is going to be an interesting next few days.

I predict Sharon wins after an automatic machine recount by 337 votes.

WOW somebody should run an office pool on this.

If a Peaslee win at 337 is the over/under line ... I advise betting the over.
dan dempsey said…
After great disappointment.... my faith in a Republic may be somewhat restored.
A Voter said…
For the first time ever, my ballot signature was challenged. Just another reason why I detest by-mail voting. But since I was an all-challengers vote, I am realizing I had better do whatever it is they want me to do to get the ballot accepted ... this is the kind of race that could come down to a vote or two.
dan dempsey said…
Try this photo of Sharon Peaslee

Hopefully a belly full of crow for the Seattle Times
I have been unable to weigh in (computer network issues where I am) but thank you Starbucks.

Anyway, I'm smiling. I felt in my gut that it was closer than what was being reported election night.

What is clear is that ALL the challengers are trending up.

It is very hard to know what to think might have been different if a couple of things had happened (SEA support, The Stranger's own admission of a wrong endorsement, updated Voter's guide) but the upshot is we will have a different Board.

I believe decisions will be more nuanced and discussion more balanced. I believe it means the end of rubber-stamping everything put before them.

I do have a gut feeling about something and I went back and forth in my head about saying it but as long as we making predictions, here goes.

I sense in Martin-Morris a restlessness. He ran a fairly low-energy campaign and has appeared detached over the last year or so (to the point where he hardly speaks at meetings).

I look for two things to happen - one, I feel fairly sure about and one that's just a feeling.

I feel fairly sure that Sherry or Harium will take over as School board president. (That would be the first order of business after they are sworn in as they will be relying on DeBell as VP until they figure it out).

My feeling is that Harium won't finish his term. I get the vibe if he had a better offer someplace, he'd take it (an education gig). That would leave an open seat the Board itself would fill (the last time they did this was in 1998 and that's how former Board member Nancy Waldman first got on the Board).

Just a vibe, though, I have zero inside info.
Anonymous said…
Good news to end the long night shift with. Interesting speculation re: HM-M's future. He has been anemic sometime now.

ArchStanton said…
I don't know how they decide who the next board president is. I assume seniority is a factor. I just can't imagine HMM in a leadership role these days, maybe a few years ago, but not now.

Maybe it doesn't matter, though. I haven't paid enough attention to really know, but it hasn't appeared to me that the person in the role of board president really changed the nature of the board all that much. Or was that due more to the Gang of Four/Five hanging together? Is the choice of board president more important with a different group of board members?
anonymous said…
I was really surprised that Harium ran at all. He really has been detached and I thought he would have been relieved when his term was over.

Murky Water
I think it depends on the person whether the Board President matters. Steve was good at running the Board meetings and, of course, had that professional veneer that the Times holds so near and dear.

But I think he was somewhat dangerous in that role as he completely toed the ed reform line and therefore, was the public face of the Board (whether they are on-board or not).

I think Sherry would be a great School Board president because she knows how to handle the job and would not be pushing an agenda.
dw said…
I think Sherry would be a great School Board president because she knows how to handle the job and would not be pushing an agenda.

I'm curious why you would think she wouldn't push an agenda. Of the 4 incumbents running this year she is the most willing to question staff, and that's certainly a positive. But she's pretty sympathetic to the ed reform thinking, based on voting record.

To my real question: are there rules about term length or re-serving as President? Is there a reason why Michael couldn't be President again? He's by far the most senior Board member, and while he's a little more soft-spoken than I'd like, he's stepped up his game over the years.
Anonymous said…
Here is the policy that governs board president election.
Kathy said…
What is the procedure for filling a vacant director seat?

The Board President sets the agenda. So, if a president does not have a supportive board, the agenda won't get momentum. Therefore, it appears board make-up is more important. Yes?
mirmac1 said…
Perhaps this is what will (finally!) make Sherry Carr put on her big girl pants (I've always wanted to use that expression) and lead as president. I would absolutely reject HMM. He has driven the C&I committee into the ground.
Charlie Mas said…
After his performance as the chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee, I don't think anyone would accept Director Martin-Morris in a leadership role.

He should, in fact, lose his committee chair position.
From what has happened in the past, the Board itself chooses someone to fill a vacancy. Last time, they had people fill out a questionaire and then interviewed finalists. Nancy Waldman was chosen, filled the rest of the term and was reelected. Nice person, smart person but she, too, failed in overseeing Olchefske.

Interestingly, the person who left (Linda Harris) had moved and apparently, if you move from your district, you cannot serve anymore from that district.
dan dempsey said…
Don't just remove Harium as Chair... move his chair and his residence.

Let us take up a collection to buy Harium a nicer house in a different section of the city. Perhaps we can get a grant .... from Eli Broad foundation.
Anonymous said…
NE Mom says

It seems a tad early to urge Harium to resign. He won his election. Let the man serve, but knowing that the community is watching him and that he needs to step it up. That said, if he happens to step down or screw up during his term I would want Buetow to take his place.
KG said…
Get the Maier out of our buildings.
Anonymous said…
Margin is now 742 votes!

Scrawny Kayaker
Laura said…
Now over 50%

Director District No. 1

Peter Maier 70631 49.56%

Sharon Peaslee 71373 50.08%

Write-in 520 0.36%
Juana said…
As of this afternoon, great!

Peter Maier 70631 49.56%

Sharon Peaslee 71373 50.08%
Patrick said…
Sharon extended her lead!
She's now ahead by 742 votes, with 142,004 cast in this race, which means she is over half a percent ahead! Yay!
Christina said…
I hope, when all the counting is done and signatures verified, we can pluralize "Director-elect".

Congratulations to Sharon Peaslee for crossing over into 50% territory.
dan dempsey said…

Today's Unofficial Cumulative Count:
71373 votes, or 50.08% for Sharon Peaslee,
70631 votes or 49.56% for Peter Maier.
520 Write-ins making up remaining 0.36%.

Peaslee now leads by 742 an increase of 651 from yesterday's 91 vote lead.

Today the vote count went:
3988 -- Pleaslee
3337 -- Maier

of the 7,325 votes counted today for either candidate
it went:
54.44% -- Peaslee
45.56% -- Maier

Guessing that there are at most 5000 votes to go. Peter needs to pick up 742.

742/5000 = 14.84%

I do not see Maier 57.42%
Peaslee 42.58% .... in the last 5000 votes.

742 or more will likely not trigger a recount ....

Welcome Director Peaslee.
I look forward to much better leadership over the next four years.
Jan said…
I can't think of when I have had such a good time watching election results come in. Congratulations, Sharon, on increasing your lead. I certainly hope it holds (it seems like it should)! At some point, I hope to go back and see if I can determine at what point (in terms of percentages and total vote spread) the media called the election for Peter. It will be interesting to see if they call it for you at the same point. (Well, the ST probably won't -- they are up to their elbows in recipes, trying to figure out how best to cook crow).
Anonymous said…
Will the times write a scolding eulogy for Peter like they did for Steve? "Look what you've done! You animals!!"

Nothing against PM or SS. Just the high-fiving know-it-alls at the Times who think they can gauge the community by reading press releases at their desks.

Anyone with a pulse knew some of these races would be tight given all the controversy. Except the Times, of course.

On a brighter note, congrats Sharon on a well-run race. It isn't over yet, but should your lead hold, I think we might just have ourselves the best, most balanced School Board we've had in decades. WSDWG
Anonymous said…
I agree with Dan; there may still be about 5000 votes to tally, including ballots with signature issues.

This is no time for complacency. Everyone should check to see that their votes have been received and signatures verified (if you haven't already done so).

Christina said…
Will the times write a scolding eulogy for Peter like they did for Steve? "Look what you've done! You animals!!"

WSDWG, I imagine this will be the Times editorial once they figure out that Peter Maier did not handily win the race. (Warning: Ed Wood alert)
Still worried said…
Sharon has pulled ahead of the incumbent. However, the margin is too slim for comfort. There are thousands of ballots that may not be counted due to signature issues. Make sure your ballots have been received and signature ratified. You can do it here:
Jan said…
Ok, Still Worried. Sigh. You are right. We need to be patient, and worried.

I will just sit on my hands, here, humming happily to myself and hoping! (Whew. Too many h's!)

And I checked my ballot. I am through signature verification.
SolvayGirl said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
SolvayGirl said…

My signature was challenged last election—after I had been voting by mail for more than a decade. Unfortunately I was out of town on family business when the notice arrived and I was not able to deal with it in time—so my vote did NOT count. I made sure it went through this time (and voted for the challengers).
Anonymous said…
I just checked our ballots and two are through signature verification waiting to be counted. I fed ex'd my freshman in college son's ballot to him out of state, and that one is waiting on signature verification. Three more votes for Peaslee that haven't been counted!

Anonymous said…
awaiting signature verification means they probably recieved an additional letter from elections telling them they need to send in an additional form/signature and copy of their drivers license by 11/28 to have their vote counted.

-go Sharon

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