Peters and Blanford Ahead; Patu Retains Seat

 Update:  the next tally of numbers will come at 4:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, the 6th.

From King County Elections:

District IV:
Sue Peters: 51.46% - 39,177 votes
Suzanne Dale Estey - 48.18% - 36,676
Write-in - 0.36% - 273 votes

District V:
Stephan Blanford - 87.60% - 64,540 votes
LaCrese Green - 11.93% - 8788 votes
Write-in - 0.47% - 344 votes

District VII:
Betty Patu: 98.49% -  586,889
Write-in - 1.51% - 871 votes

I just left a very happy Sue Peters election party.  Directors Smith-Blum, McLaren and Peaslee were in attendance. 

KUOW's Ann Dornfeld's take on the Dale Estey/Peters campaign parties (very funny):

At Peters’ party, it’s a mostly middle-aged crowd milling about the room, drinking wine and cocktails. There are purple balloons, sandwiches and cured meats. It’s a festive mood.

It’s less festive at Estey’s campaign party, where there’s a sparser crowd and most of the guests appear to be drinking water.  


Anonymous said…
Woo-hoo! Money may not triumph after all!
Anonymous said…
How many more votes to count?

Christina said…
132,575 ballots are ready to count according to King County Elections. The last-minute ballots are not included in that total.

Was Alison Krupnick the only press (Parent Map) at the victory party?
Anonymous said…
According to election website:
Active registered voters in the Seattle School District: 410,704
Ballotts returned: 136,896
Ballots ready for counting: 132,575
As of tonight, he difference between Sue Peters and SDE is: 2501
Quite close call yet but hopefully Sue Peters will win in the end, too.
SPS mom
I will say that I recall that in the Peaslee/Maier race, the margin was much closer (like less than 500 votes apart).
Anonymous said…
I wonder how much The Stranger cheat sheet influences school board races. I've got several child-free friends who are Stranger readers and who told me they followed the recommendations for school board races because they didn't know what else to do (and hadn't heard my recommendation for Peters at that point). I have to think that in this town The Stranger probably influences anyone under about 45 more than The Seattle Times does.

Anonymous said…
Did Dale-Estey have a party too? It would be interesting to hear an official statement from that direction.

mirmac1 said…
Yay! I'm there in spirit!
Unknown said…
Woot! I was at a special ed meeting. I would also be partying.
Anonymous said…
Dale-Estey did have a party at a restaurant in Magnolia. An email that came out at 5:30 said:

Dear Friends,

On the last day of our strong and broad-based campaign, I want to express how very grateful I am to everyone who has gotten involved in this team effort!

We have kept our focus on high quality education for all of Seattle’s kids throughout this campaign with unprecedented support for a Seattle School Board race.

Here are some amazing metrics of which I am sincerely proud:

Over 150 people have volunteered their time on this campaign – folks have doorbelled, called, hosted house parties, stuck stickers (several kids helped with that!) and joined me at Farmers Markets across Seattle.

Supporters have shared hundreds of Facebook posts and e-mails with their own networks. This ripple effect has been extremely powerful!

We have knocked on over 8,000 doors including 10 doorbell blitzes centered in neighborhood parks and covering every corner of the city – from Northgate to the Southeast to West Seattle to Ballard.

Our volunteers have called more than 6,000 voters – in just the last few days, we’ve called over 45 key precincts!

We put 1,000 yard signs up in yards all over Seattle.

We earned over 500 endorsements from community leaders across Seattle, including over 50 elected officials and a long list of education leaders. Click here to see a complete list.

And here’s the real “money” story that deserves the headlines: we received an unprecedented 810 donations from over 750 people to this campaign – that’s more donors than any Seattle School Board race in history! 450 of those are contributions of $100 or less – far more donations at that level than my opponent had in total, and less than 5 percent of our donations were at the maximum level.

Those aren’t CEO’s. They are teachers, moms and dads, engineers and office managers who want to get our Seattle Public Schools moving in a positive, productive direction. Like me, they believe all kids in Seattle deserve a high quality education. I greatly value the generosity of each and every one of our contributors.
Seattle can and should have a great, world-class public school system. It’s time to work together and move our District forward in a positive way. In the past few months, I’ve personally spoken with thousands of voters who have told me they agree with my messages that we need to:

Keep the focus on students

Fight for high quality education for all

Strengthen community engagement with a focus on our shared values

While we await tonight’s election returns, I am tremendously grateful for those of you who have helped to give me the potential opportunity to help do just that.
THANK YOU once again for your support!


P.S. Please join us tonight for our Election Night Party. Details below. Hope to see you there!

- petersVoter
Anonymous said…
"Join us for our General Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 5, from 7-9pm at Serendipity Cafe & Lounge (3222 West McGraw St.) in Magnolia.
From SDE"
SPS mom
Anonymous said…
From the New York Times tonight, a failed attempt to raise ed $$ in Colorado. It shows the problems we may have in WA to devote greater spending to public education.


DENVER — Colorado voters on Tuesday rejected one of the most sweeping school-financing measures in the nation this year, according to The Associated Press, deciding that the promise of smaller class sizes, full-day kindergarten and smarter education spending was not worth the price of a tax increase.

The vote was a major defeat for teachers’ unions and the state’s governor, John W. Hickenlooper, a Democrat who campaigned heavily in support of the measure to provide $1 billion mostly for educational improvements. It was also a blow to charter-school advocates and a group of deep-pocketed philanthropists who had supported the effort as a rare opportunity to infuse new money into poor and struggling schools. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York contributed $1 million, as did Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation is a major contributor to education projects.

Opponents of the education measure were vastly outspent, but they offered a simple argument to voters leery of higher taxes, saying that the increase would hurt job creation, cost small businesses money and bruise the state’s economic recovery, with no guarantees that the changes would actually work.
Anonymous said…
I heard a rumor that the NE group was doing a write in campaign to get one of their own elected in Betty Patu's seat. I wonder if that is why the write-in numbers against her are higher than the others...?

-not NE
I have to think that in this town The Stranger probably influences anyone under about 45 more than The Seattle Times does.

Yup and I think it drives the Times crazy because they want to be the only voice. But their reporting (at least to my mind and at least on education reporting) has increasingly leaned to one side.

Does The Stranger have a POV? You'd have to be blind not to see that but at least they have some decent reasoning and are decidedly upfront about it.

I could quibble about some of the things said in Dale Estey's statement but I won't. I'll just point out that money pays for a lot of efforts.

EdVoter, that Colorado vote was a lot more complicated than just raising taxes to fund education. When you see Bloomberg and Gates in there, you know there's more to it.
Unknown said…
RE: the Stranger. I was going to tell my mom to use their voter guide, but then I re-read it and I am pretty sure my mom wouldn't get past the "steaming turd" verbiage that was 5 words into it. That kind of no-holds-barred phrase turning is the kind of packaging of the message that gets the message across to most of its audience. It's too bad they don't produce a version that's a little less scatalogical for the 83-year-old liberal types like my mom.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
It's unbelievable that the Seattle Times misses the point of this school board election. Well, it's unbelievable on one level, but totally believable on another level--Lynn Varner is out of touch with regular education voters. The message that Lynne doesn't hear is loud and clear: the school board race will not be bought!
Patrick said…
Unopposed elections just invite more write-ins. There's no race, so voters feel free to have a little fun by writing in Micky Mouse.
Anonymous said…
We're 50-60ish in this household and The Stranger is very influential. I don't even read it most weeks -- and haven't been a regular reader for at least 15 years -- but I always read the Election Guide, and often if I'm undecided when I start reading they've convinced me to their POV by the end.

Amazed said…
I am amazed Sue Peters actually may win despite all that money funding her opponent. I am very surprising that such a huge amount of money wasn't able to force a win for Dale Estey. Fantastic to see, but surprising.
Patrick said…
I don't especially like the Stranger's language, but when it comes down to it they're the only paper in Seattle that has an elections endorsement panel that does a decent job. Who would've thought.
Stephen said…
We giggled and read choice snippets of the Stranger's Voting Guide to each other the other morning, while filling out our ballots.

Also wondered aloud at the correlation, over time, of their recommendations and election results.
Anonymous said…
The King County Democrats endorsed Peters, too. I used their endorsements in making my choices.

Mary -- I'm with you on the language at the Stranger. My 10 yo likes reading the endorsements/voter pamphlet to us, and we certainly can't have him read the Stranger endorsements. Don't work for my parents, either. Seems like it wouldn't be hard for them to generate a clean version for the liberal 10 and 80 year olds.

Anonymous said…
I am guardedly optimistic about Sue Peters numbers. It's a bit early to celebrate. However, if today's numbers show the same trend with Dale-Estey not gaining any ground, I might pop the champagne cork.

As an aside, I was robo-called twice by the Peters campaign (Love you Cliff Mass!) and asked to vote for Sue. All I got from Suzanne Dale-Estey were slimey mailers. Not even a robo-call to ask for my vote.
I do hope these numbers hold as well. My assessment is that late votes favor Sue over Suzanne. I based that on a couple of things.

1) the really "pro" people from either side tend to vote earlier
2) the undecideds - some of them - take information up to the last day. That last Dale Estey flyer may have tipped some voting to Peters - I think it was widely disliked.

Amazed, this doesn't surprise me much. The powers that be do NOT get Seattle School Board races and are constantly surprised when they lose. Money won't win it in Seattle.

(P.S. I'm available for hire as a consultant next time. :)
Anonymous said…
Melissa, I am in 100% agreement with you that the power brokers in Seattle don't get it when it comes to school board races. What they don't seem to get is that voters want someone who has shown a track record of direct involvement in public schools at the local level, e.g., PTA leadership. Voters really like candidates who currently have or who have had kids in Seattle public schools. They want someone who they think thinks like them.

Voters don't want school board candidates who see the school board as a springboard to other elected offices, business leaders or public policy wonks with no direct involvement and/or knowledge of the complexity of public education, or people who are part of the "elite" that they can't relate to.

Feel free to use these points in your future gig as a consultant. ;-)

--- swk
Charlie Mas said…
I reckon that the Stranger endorsement is worth about 10% of the vote. This is based on the results of the 2011 election.
Eric B said…
School Board as a springboard to elected office? Hahahahahahaha! Is there a more thankless elected job in this city?It seems like no matter what they do, a minimum of 40% of the city hates them.

That might be a little unfair. But has anyone jumped from school board to other elected office?

Back to Melissa's point, I think there is some reasonable suspicion of someone who raises $100K+ for a job that pays $4K. I am also very suspicious of anyone who comes in with a "they've done it all wrong for years, but I'm going to come in and fix it!" message. The board is seven people, and you need three others to get anything done.
not elected office but Maier went to State BoE and Sundquist to the charter commission. What stuns me is those two clowns achieved that having been thrown out after one term...

I do beleive some perceive the position as a stepping stone to bigger things.
mirmac1 said…
Unfortunately, with a Peters win we'll be subjected to the continued sleazy articles from Crosscut ("insurgents!") and Times ("dysfunctional!") Now DeBell can pop off even MORE than he and his friends had before. No more Deep Throat.
Patrick said…
Oh, I'm sure the Times and Crosscut would continue publishing sleazy and misinformed editorials no matter who wins the election.
Po3 said…
I wonder what Estey thinks about her PAC, that helped her loose the election.

Po3, that is a key mistake for Dale Estey. I think, from talking to her and listening to her speak, that if she had directed her own campaign, she would not have done the same things.

But I believe she was drafted to run and directed how to run. She allowed others to direct her campaign and did little to even attempt to curb what the PAC did.

She never truly and publicly disavowed the tactics being used in support of her campaign. (She had one vague statement at her Facebook page but in the Times she had the chance and didn't take it.) I think she should have sent out the word - publicly - that she didn't like it and they might have tried something else.

I perceive the PAC thought the primary mailer worked and it was uneven and somewhat negative. So they went all out during the general and went very negative.

It did not work and I believe people did not like it.
Po3 said…
I also think she was drafted to run - her profile never made sense as a school board candidate.
*Not in SPS very long.
*No real experience w/in the district.

I think the "backers" thought her policy experience made her a good candidate. They did not realize that SPS parents want people like them to represent them and Peters fits that profile.
Anonymous said…
Eric B, a good number if not a majority of the members of the education committees of the legislature began on school boards, e.g., Sen. McAuliffe, Rep. Haigh, Rep. Hunt, Marcie Maxwell (who sat on the House Education Committee before joining the Governor's office), etc.

--- swk
Eric B said…
swk, were those Seattle school boards? I'm clearly ignorant here. I do draw a difference between elected office and appointed office such as SBOE and charter commission. A person has to be at least somewhat widely liked to get elected, which is not the case for appointed office.
mirmac1 said…
"It’s less festive at Estey’s campaign party, where there’s a sparser crowd and most of the guests appear to be drinking water."

What? They burned through the $225K and were left on bread and water?
Eric B said…
Mirmac, it could have been worse. No on I-522 spent tens of millions and had water, Coke, and pretzels at the party. The Stranger reporter noted that there were three people at the party, one of whom was a Times reporter.
Anonymous said…
At least No on 522 were consistent in having crappy processed food, not certified organic (and therefore GMO-free) at their celebration.

mirmac1 said…
Peters lead climbs. : )
mirmac1 said…
All the N0 on 522 supporters were in line for the Jack's Munchie Meal.
Anonymous said…
Eric B., none of the folks I mentioned off the top of my head are from the Seattle board. I can't think of any recent Seattle School Board members running for elected office after their stint on the board.

--- swk

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