Seattle School Board Races Info

District 1 
Scott Pinkham; so far, no campaign website or campaign Facebook page

Michael Christophersen; so far, no campaign website or campaign Facebook page

To note, I spoke with the PDC because, in reviewing the school board races, I see that neither Pinkham nor Christophersen has registered with them. 

According to PDC rules, once you do one of several things - including announce your candidacy - you have to register with the PDC.  They said letters are going out this week to candidates in all races where the candidate has announced but not registered with the PDC.  The PDC is not an enforcement agency but said that if there is no reply to the letter, then a hearing is scheduled in late July and if no reply there, those names are turned over to the county auditor.  They don't know if candidates who don't register with the PDC would be kicked off the ballot but they would be subject to fines.

District 2
Laura Obara Gramer
Laura Obara Gramer for School Board

Rick Burke
Rick Burke for School Board

Rick Burke for School Board Facebook

Burke has the endorsement of (partial):
  • Martin Luther King County Labor Council
  • 36th Dems
  • 43rd Dems
  • 46th District Democrats
  • Local 609
  • King County Young Democrats
I, too, am endorsing Burke. 

District 3
Jill Geary - Geary has a kick-off event this Thursday, at the University Heights building, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Jill Geary for Seattle School Board.
Jill Geary for School Board Facebook

Geary has the endorsement of (partial):
  • Martin Luther King County Labor Council
  • King County Democrats
  • King County Young Democrats
  • 46th District Democrats
  • King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
  • Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien
  • Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (fmr)
I, too, am endorsing Jill.

Lauren McGuire
Lauren McGuire for School Board
Lauren McGuire for School Board Facebook

McGuire has the endorsement of(partial):
  • 46th District Democrats
  • Rep. Gerry Pollet, 46th District
  • Rep. Reuven Carlyle 36th District
  • Rep. Brady Walkinshaw 43rd District
  • Sherry Carr, Seattle School Board Director*
  • Michael DeBell, former Seattle School Board Director*
  • Harium Martin-Morris, Seattle School Board Director*
  • Sharon Peaslee, Seattle School Board Director*
* for ID purposes only

David Blomstrom; so far no campaign website or campaign Facebook page.  (Editor's note: Blomstrom has run about 20 times for various Washington state offices.  He has said vile things about past Board members and can come off in his writings as anti-Semitic.  I will not be mentioning him again.)

Stephen Clayton; so far no campaign website or campaign Facebook page.

Leslie Harris for School Board
District 6
Leslie Harris

Leslie Harris for School Board
Leslie Harris for School Board Facebook

Harris is having a kick-off event this Wednesday the 17th at Camp Long in West Seattle, starting at 6pm. 

Harris has the endorsement of (partial):
  • State Sen. Maralyn Chase
  • State Rep. Eileen Cody
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine
  • County Councilman Rod Dembowski
  • County Councilman Larry Gossett
  • WA State Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland, Ret’d
  • King Co. Superior Ct. Judge Paris Kallas, Ret’d
  • Adam Kline, former State Senator
  • City Councilmember Nick Licata
  • County Councilman Joe McDermott
  • Tina Podlowdoski, former City Councilmember
  • Sally Soriano, former Director, Pos. 1, SPS
  • Irene Stewart, former Director Pos. No. 6, SPS
  • Phil Talmadge, former State Senator & Ret’d WA State Supreme Court Justice
  • 46th Leg.Dist. Dems (dual)
  • King County Young Democrats (sole)
  • 32nd Leg. Dist. Dems (sole)
  • 34th Leg. Dist. Dems (sole)
I, too, endorse Harris for School Board.

Marty McLaren
Marty McLaren for School Board

McLaren has the endorsement of (partial):

46th District Democrats
MLK County Labor Council
Kay Smith-Blum,  former Seattle School Board President
Sherry Carr,  Seattle School Board President
Sharon Peaslee,  Seattle School Board Director and former President
Harium Martin-Morris,  Seattle School Board Director

Nick Esparza; so far, no campaign website or campaign Facebook page


mirmac1 said…
Wow. It is clear who are the "status quo" candidates in Districts 3 and 6.
mirmac1 said…
Endorsements from various, including:

Sherry Carr, Seattle School Board Director*
Michael DeBell, former Seattle School Board Director*
Harium Martin-Morris, Seattle School Board Director*
Sharon Peaslee, Seattle School Board Director*
Kay Smith-Blum, former Seattle School Board President

Wonder when Steve Sundquist or Peter Maier will pop up.
Actually Peter Maier has given money to Lauren McGuire's campaign.
Anonymous said…
So what happens if nobody steps up in District 1?

Worried 1
Anonymous said…
How do you see who's providing funding to campaigns? I was told there are a few pro charter school lawyers contributing heavily in 3. Any ideas who it is?

No Charters
Anonymous said…
@No Charters - contributions are viewable at the PDC via their contributions database.
see Query Contributions

Ragweed said…
Last I spoke to Scott Pinkham he said he was revising some things for the PDC and resubmitting it.
mirmac1 said…
Good to hear Ragweed.
Patrick said…
Am I reading your post correctly -- the 46th District Democrats have endorsed both Jill Geary and Lauren McGuire?
Anonymous said…

It was a dual endorsement.

-- Ivan Weiss
W. Seattle said…
West Seattle gave a resounding thumbs down to Martha McLaren and an amazing thumbs-up to Harris. The 34th District Dems supported Harris with a vote of 123-12.

Anonymous said…
For anyone who still doesn't know who Leslie is and what her qualifications are, she has been intensely involved in SPS activities for the past 12 years (her daughter attended Pathfinder K-8 and has just graduated from Chief Sealth). Leslie has gone to just about very School Board meeting, and has attended every Director's community meetings, in all parts of the city, over the past 12 years. Every Director, past and present, during that time, and most of SPS' senior staff are well acquainted with Leslie. I'm sure some of them wish they weren't.

Both Sue Peters and Betty Patu urged Leslie to make this run. Leslie, who had supported Marty in her race against Sundquist, gave Marty months of notice that this was coming. Marty's part in the rush job to appoint Nyland was the tipping point.

Peter Maier, Michael DeBell, Tim Burgess, Chris Korsmo and that lot aren't going to stop Leslie from getting elected, and they know it. Regular readers of this blog who don't know her should make the effort. She will reward your support with a high level of responsible, dynamic, creative governance.

Leslie's campaign kickoff is tomorrow night (Wednesday June 17) from 7 to 9 PM, at Camp Long, off 35th Av SW in West Seattle. See you there.

-- Ivan Weiss
Anonymous said…
I don't think the PDC was giving you the full story or you didn't ask the correct questions. Both DD 1 candidates have filed their respective C1 forms. The PDC is in the process of validating their signature cards. The PDC had a back log which led to the delay. Sometimes you need to know the process and then ask the correct questions to get the full story.

Just Helping
Just Helping, when I called PDC and told them what I looking for, no one said "we have a backlog and that may be why you aren't seeing it." They also said there were candidates who did not file in a timely fashion and will be getting letters.

Anonymous said…
Thanks for the link.

The only candidate I see listed for position 1 is PEASLEE SHARON D.
What's going on?

I see someone has raised over $20,000 and spent $13,000, OMG that's obscene! I don't think that's a grass roots effort, I'm suspicious when big money shows up in a local board race. Is this a pro charter candidate that's running?
I Google ed some of the contributors and I'm a little nervous by what I found.

No Charters
No Charters, that's Peaslee's old account that she hasn't bothered to get rid of. I don't think she's running.

Just Helping says the PDC is behind and that's why we don't see District 1 candidates. We'll see.
No 1240 said…
"I don't think that's a grass roots effort, I'm suspicious when big money shows up in a local board race. Is this a pro charter candidate that's running?"

Well, I'm concerned about the other candidate running in this race. There is an individual that hired one of the most expensive campaign managers in the city, and grassroots candidates don't have the funds to hire this type of consultant. Keep watching the PDC; I fully expect this individual's account to see some hefty donations.
Anonymous said…
No 1240,

Where can I see that type of information? Is it listed in the C3 section on the PDC site? Do you mind telling us the managers name? Maybe $20k isn't that outrageous since Peters spent $49K and her opponent spent $149K...WOW. I voted for Peter's because her opponent played dirty and it was all a word of mouth effort by her supports. I never saw a single sign or other type of ad, so I don't know where the $49K went or the $149K for that matter. In the end it was still very close as I remember.

No Charters
mirmac1 said…
Perhaps Just Helping has access to inside info with a candidate.
No Charters, here's the thing - you can spend as much as you raise. Back when running for the School Board was kind of a quiet thing, you could run on $10K. Those days are probably gone.

Go to the PDC, hit "Search the Database" in the top line of tabs. Then hit the "Mount Rushmore" photo for "Candidates."

At the "Candidates" page, hit "Local." At the Local page, hit the arrow for the very end of the section which takes you to page 67. Go back to around page 55-56 where you will see names and "Seattle School District 001."

Peruse at your leisure.

Money does NOT win elections; votes do. Money can help but school board elections are unlike any others. Getting the vote out is what counts; not tv campaigns.
Anonymous said…
Blog community:

In addition to that posted, am very pleased to report a dual endorsement from the Martin Luther King Co Labor Council, a sole endorsement from IUOE Local 609 (non-teacher classified staff, maintenance, nutrion, et. al.) AFL-CIO, sole endorsement from the 11th LD Demos tonight (I was a former chair and state committeewoman from the old 11th), Recc'd for sole with King Co. Demos Central Committee, and Frmr State Rep Velma Veloria. More to come!

I humbly ask for your vote and support.

Leslie Harris
candidate, SPS Director No. 6
Anonymous said…
I met Michael Christopherson at a meeting a few weeks ago and was fairly unimpressed. I sincerely hope Scott Pinkham is good, because otherwise District 1 is in trouble.

Anonymous said…
Forgot to mention he was with Jeb Bush.

mirmac1 said…
Scott Pinkham is a rock star.
Anonymous said…
Fibber - don't you mean Jeb!


(And ugh - after what he did to FL public education....)
David said…
Jeb Bush? Really? I guess that's what he meant when he said he was running an alternative campaign.
Anonymous said…
Hey about money ...
in 2007 the four winning candidates (Maier, Carr, Sundquist, Martin-Morris) spent a combined $480,000. Of that Maier spent the most around $167,000

When Maier lost in 2011, Crosscuts had an op-ed that more money should have been spent by Maier.

What is the oligarchy up to these days?

-- Dan Dempsey
In 2007 (no campaign limits) the seven largest campaign donors to the each of the gang of four were the same seven people...
Anonymous said…
Today, June 17th, I saw Stephen J Clayton's Candidate Facebook Page, and on, the two School Board candidates representing District 1 have emerged on the public database.

Christina, look at the 'pos' column for district number. Only Peaslee standing for district 1
Anonymous said…
Lauren McGuire is very smart, kind and considerate person. I don't see an ounce of status quo in her!

We will be lucky to have her on the board.

Go Lauren
The rump of the Gang of Four and DeBell would agree with you anonymous, for me that is 3 red flags.
Anonymous said…
ConcernedSPSParent, there are entries in the dropdown list, accessed by visiting, finding the "Search the Database" green tab, fourth from the left, positioning the cursor over that tab to show its submenu choices, and selecting the last tab: "Advanced Search."

"Candidate/Committee" has first dropdown box, containing the candidates I mentioned in my June 17 comment.

Christophersen Michael is between Christoferson Glen H and Christopherson Tyron J.
Pinkham Scott is between Pinkham Glen and Pinneo Benjamin

Candidates have to be entered into the PDC database or comma delimited file before they can show up on a dropdown list.

Go Lauren, she is smart, kind and considerate. But she has aligned herself with Michael DeBell who is pretty clearly got at least a foot in ed reform. She gets advice from him.

I don't actually see status quo in any of the candidates because I don't believe in this imaginary "status quo." I don't know a parent or community member here or elsewhere in the country who thinks all is well with public education.

But, for me, there are two things that matter in a candidate:

1) do you see the issues with Seattle Schools clearly and acknowledge that many of the decisions currently being made at JSCEE are not based on what is happening on the ground in our schools?

2) since we are all agreed that things have to change, it depends on HOW any candidate plans to create change and what would they change.

The very significant change I see from last election when I helped Peaslee and McLaren run is that they WERE for challenging the staff and not being rubberstamps for what the Superintendent said. That certainly has borne out, especially in the last year.

I don't want someone who goes along to get along - I want someone who will stand up and ask hard questions and not be good with answers that are not reality-based. And I want that in a team of people who stand for parents, teachers and taxpayers.
Anonymous said…
So it seems Christophersen Michael and Pinkham Scott did register with PDC ? How else would their names make in to the drop down list? MW said they did not register and wrote that the PDC told her they were being possibly fined and maybe removed from the ballot.


half cocked
Anonymous said…
Endorsements go two ways, they can help or they can hurt. I will not be voting for anyone endorsed by DeBell unless they are the lesser of two evils and I have to hold my nose.

Anonymous said…
I see Michael DeBell was successful in 2005 running for the SPS Board against a 19 year old getting 104460 votes and then unopposed in 2009 getting 120537 votes. It's interesting to see his unopposed run collected the largest amount of write in votes for any SPS election at just under 2500 (typically around 700). Also, if DeBell was so disliked why was he unopposed? Maybe the people (voters) liked what he was doing with SPS so no one bothered to oppose him? I wouldn't discount DeBell's influence.

Go Lauren
Patrick said…
Go Lauren, could DeBell have been unopposed because school director is an unpaid task that takes 30+ hours a week to do a good job? And someone who did have the time and inclination would have to be from the same district. It's not such a huge achievement running up a huge majority when you're running unopposed.

McGuire is smart, and from FACMAC she'd probably address capacity somehow... which is more than the District is doing left to their own devices. But still, the endorsements she puts at the top of her page are mostly people I see as part of the problem, who think the role of the board is to shut up and wield their rubber stamps except when it's necessary to replace the super.
Half-Cocked, when I didn't see some announced candidates registered with the PDC, I called the PDC. So, at the time I wrote the thread, those candidates were not registered (or the PDC was way behind in putting up their names). I said they COULD be fined and I NEVER said they wouldn't be on the ballot.

Go Lauren, have you never heard of the power of the incumbency? C'mon. DeBell certainly does have some influence but he has turned to ed reform so that's valid to say.
Anonymous said…
Roosevelt jazz bad sounds very good.

Half Cocked

sent from my iphone 6
mirmac1 said…
Random reference to a couple of Roosevelt kids playing at Jill Geary 's campaign kickoff party suggests to me that Michael's friend is trolling the blog. Melissa and I along with Rick Burke and Erin Jones and others had a great time supporting Jill.
Anonymous said…
"Go Lauren, have you never heard of the power of the incumbency? C'mon. DeBell certainly does have some influence but he has turned to ed reform so that's valid to say."

So you are against "ed reform" ? Interesting. Most parents, but not all want some sort of education reform. DeBell being unopposed speaks volumes for his agenda and what the people in his district thought.

Go Lauren
mirmac1 said…
Wow Go Lauren you must be new around here. Are you Lauren's campaign strategist or an Alliance flunkie? What do you think DeBell's agenda was? From my perspective it was to crush special education and he DID succeed at that.
Anonymous said…
OK, so you claim DeBell "crushed" special education. I will play along, then why didn't you or someone else run against him ? Are you saying all other six board members went along with the DeBell "crushing" of special education? As far as I can tell none of the board members for the past 10 years has stepped up and publicly told the district to follow the law, including the current 7 members...why is that?

I've personally have gone to every director's community meeting and asked each one (except peaslee)why various areas in SPS where neglected over the past 3 board cycles and most blamed it on lack of funding (the 2008 recession). Do you agree since 2008 there were funding issues that lead SPS to neglect special education?

I know Lauren wants to change the board's culture of turning a blind eye to violations of the law. I hope she gets a chance to show you she does care about all students.

Go Lauren
Anonymous said…
Go Lauren,
You will not be influencing folks many when you equate corporate "Ed Reform" with needed changes.

Opposition to "Ed Reform" is not a vote for status quo.

-- Dan Dempsey
mirmac1 said…
I've been to many board committee and legislative meetings, and district meeting. In DeBell s time he took every opportunity to slam special education. I quote "they're taking more than their fair share! " Let's hire a consultant to prove this! He connived with Ron English to out a Sped student by planting a story in the Seattle Times. DeBell was shameless.
The recession is a pretty easy thing to use. Not that it didn't affect the budget then and have lasting effects. But the district continues to spend money on things that don't directly affect the classroom and, when you have fewer dollars, that's where it should go.
Anonymous said…
"He connived with Ron English to out a Sped student by planting a story in the Seattle Times. DeBell was shameless. "

You seem to think anyone who questions special education expenditures is "outing" someone in special education. It looks to me DeBell was simply questioning why services where being outsourced for millions of dollars per school year. I would expect every board member to ask the same type of questions. That's not "outing" any particular person, that's providing oversight.

Go Lauren
mirmac1 said…
Let me guess Go Lauren, your understanding of DeBell ' s Works are based on...what Sinderman told you to say? Ask Kay Smith -Blum about DeBell's bullying and abusive tactics. It was nauseating seeing him lead committee meetings, with Ron English sitting at the right hand of the father. No wonder we are so screwed up.

You have no idea what IDEA violation I'm referring to with respect to outing. I suggest you pay better attention.
Anonymous said…
So if we're judging books by their supporters, then what would people think of this:


McCurdy & Fuller LLP specializes in the representation of insurance companies in a variety of insurance coverage matters, including insurance coverage litigation, counseling and opinions. Mary McCurdy and Kevin McCurdy, who founded the firm in 2003, each have over 25 years experience representing insurers.

That's just one example, there are more and if you really want to be disgusted look some of the cases these lawyers have handled.

Go Lauren
Anonymous said…
Oh no Mr. Burke!

Rick Burke: I worked with Dr. Nyland on the Washington State Board of Education Math Panel in 2007, and recently had an opportunity to talk with him as a School Board candidate. I have found him to be experienced and reasonable, and also believe that some of his actions in the last year show a lot of promise for the future. Based on this perspective, I rate him a solid 7, and look forward to the opportunity to work with him and refine that number.

Specifically, I’m supportive of his recent “100 days of customer service” initiative, which I would like to see continue as the new normal for SSD. I have also been pleased with improvements in special education and his candid handling of recent district mis-steps, such as the response to the inadvertent release of over 7,500 student records containing personally identifiable information.

There goes my vote!

Sped parent
Sasha said…


Some claimed that Lauren McGuire is professional. I have a hard time with an individual that looses significant endorsements and then goes negative by spreading misinformation. From the Geary campaign:

"My opponent has been spreading some misinformation about me and my campaign. I can assure you these attacks aren't true. I'm sad that it has come to this. I've asked her to take responsibility for her actions and run on issues rather than attacks. Tomorrow is the big day and no matter what the outcome is, I am grateful. You all have been on this incredible journey with me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We have so much work to do to ensure every child in Seattle gets the education they deserve. My last request is that you make sure your friends and neighbors have turned in their ballots and join me in standing up against the status quo. Thank you for everything. Jill"

We can only hope that McGuire does not make it onto the board.

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