Friday marked the deadline for school board candidates across the state to turn in their petitions to qualify for the Nov. 1 ballot, and several candidates in the metro area’s largest districts came in just under the wire.
Write-in candidates are still possible, though an affidavit and statement of intent to run are due Monday. A Denver teacher took out candidate paperwork Thursday to potentially join that city’s at-large race.
Another rapidly approaching deadline is Friday, Sept. 2, when school districts must certify ballot content – tax increases for operating and building needs – to their county elections offices.
Here’s a listing of candidates to date in the state’s three largest school districts. Attempts were made to reach every candidate. Links are provided for those candidates with websites. Check this state webpage for a more detailed elections calendar, including campaign finance reporting deadlines.
Jefferson County school board candidates
In the state’s largest school district, with an enrollment of 86,000 students, two of five board of education seats are open Nov. 1.
In District 3, the sprawling county’s central and northwest areas, board president Dave Thomas is not seeking a second term and two candidates are vying to replace him. In District 4, the county’s central region, board member Jane Barnes is term-limited. Two candidates also are vying for her slot.
A drawing to determine places on the ballot for those whose petition signatures are deemed sufficient – 50 signatures of registered voters are required – is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Signatures for two candidates, Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper, have already been ruled sufficient.
District 3, Central and Northwest:
- Preston Branaugh, 42, is an attorney who lives in Arvada.
- Jill Fellman, 53, a retired teacher and school district administrator, lives in northwest Arvada. Campaign website.
District 4, Central:
- Lesley Dahlkemper, 44, is a small business owner living in Lakewood. Campaign website.
- Jim Powers, 44, an architect, also lives in Lakewood.
Denver Public Schools board candidates
Three of the school board’s seven seats are at stake in this fall’s election. Many in the DPS community see the vote as critical to determining whether a 4-3 majority that is largely supportive of Superintendent Tom Boasberg’s reform policies will remain in place – or whether it will produce a shift in board dynamics that could put his initiatives, and his administration, in jeopardy.
One of the three races being contested in Denver features an incumbent. Arturo Jimenez is vying for a second term representing District 5, which is northwest Denver. The other two races each pit two candidates fighting one another for an open slot.
The at-large seat being vacated by the term-limited Theresa Peña will be claimed by one of five candidates – unless teacher Loralie Cole jump ins as a write-in candidate.
- John Daniel, 54, is a computer systems administrator and resident of the Baker neighborhood. Campaign website.
- Frank Deserino, age unavailable, is a social studies teacher at South High School. He could not be reached Friday. Campaign website.
- Happy Haynes, 58, is director of civic and community engagement for CRL Associates, Inc. and a resident of the Park Hill neighborhood. Campaign website.
- Roger Kilgore, 54, is a water resources engineer and consultant, and a resident of Park Hill. Campaign website.
- Jacqui Shumway, 52, is a health educator and resident of Park Hill. Campaign website.
District 1, Southeast Denver:
- Anne Rowe, 51, a small business owner who lives in the Cherry Hills Heights neighborhood. Campaign website.
- Emily Sirota, 32, is a social worker who lives in Virginia Village. Campaign website.
District 5, Northwest Denver:
- Jennifer Draper Carson, 42, is an education activist and full-time mom, living in the West Highlands neighborhood. Campaign website.
- Arturo Jimenez, 39, is an immigration attorney who lives in the Highlands neighborhood. He was first elected to the northwest Denver seat in 2007. Campaign website.
Douglas County school board candidates
Three of seven school board seats are open Nov. 1 in the affluent county, where candidates’ stances on the school district’s voucher pilot are likely to be a major theme in the election.
Two incumbents are campaigning to keep their seats in the northwest and northeast areas of the county, while a third incumbent, Cliff Stahl, will not run again to represent north and central parts of Douglas County.
By Friday’s deadline, eight candidates had turned in petitions. Findings on sufficiency of the petitions are expected to be made Wednesday, and a lottery drawing to determine ballot order is scheduled Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
District A, Northwest
- Joan Grady lives in Littleton, according to campaign records filed with the secretary of state’s office. She could not be reached Friday.
- Susan Meek, 42, was until March the communications director for the Douglas County School District, and she is now an education strategist at BreakAway, Ltd. She lives in Highlands Ranch. Campaign website.
- Kevin Reilly, 53, is a neuropsychologist in independent practice who lives in Highlands Ranch. Campaign website.
- Craig Richardson, 50, was appointed to this board seat in June 2010 to fill a mid-term vacancy. He is now seeking a full four-year term. Richardson is general counsel for the El Paso Pipeline Group. He lives in Highlands Ranch.
District C, North and Central
- Gail Frances, 65, is recently on hiatus from working in the financial services industry, and she lives in Highlands Ranch. Campaign website.
- Kevin Larsen, 48, an actuary and assistant vice president at Hannover Life Reassurance Co. of America, lives in Highlands Ranch.
District F, Northeast
- Susan McMahon, 44, a former local small business owner and entrepreneur is challenging the incumbent; she lives in Stroh Ranch, Parker. Campaign website.
- Justin Williams, the incumbent, is seeking a second term. Williams, 38, is an investment adviser living in Parker. Campaign website (not yet live).