Moore, Bailey, Brim-Edwards take seats on PPS board
Portland Public Schools witnessed the election of three new board members Tuesday night, ushering in an era in which no member of the seven-person school board has served for more than two years.
The elections of Rita Moore, Scott Bailey and Julia Brim-Edwards come as initial results in the $790 million construction-bond campaign show PPS voters overwhelming supporting the measure—twin results that spell mixed confidence in the district's direction.
Moore and Bailey, with the backing of the Portland Association of Teachers union, largely campaigned on the idea that PPS needs to change course. Brim-Edwards, who previously served one term on the board in the early 2000s, said she would bring a steady hand to the district as it recovered from a string of public relations headaches.
With 57 percent of the vote, Moore beat Jamila Singleton Munson, a Grant High School grad who has worked as a teacher and principal. Munson is a director for Teach for America.
Bailey beat Virginia La Forte, a parent activist in Northeast Portland who pushed PPS to remedy its lead-paint problem. He received 62 percent of the vote.
In the final contest, Brim-Edwards edged out five additional candidates, including Trisha Parks who won the endorsement of the teachers union but didn't campaign due to sickness. She earned 66 percent of the vote, according to partial returns.
Candidates for seats on the PPS board spent a combined $250,000 on their campaigns.
Results for other districts
Portland Public Schools wasn't the only Portland school district with elections on the ballot. A majority of the seats in the David Douglas School District, in east Portland, were up for grabs Tuesday.
Cheryl A. Scarcelli Ancheta, who has served on the board since 2009, lost to Ana del Rocio for Position 1. Timothy Crawley was also on the ballot. Del Rocio drew 42 percent of votes in early returns.
In David Douglas's Position 2, Stephanie Stephens beat Joshua Gray with 74 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Christine Larsen held off Mike Ewald and Dennis Secrest for Position 3 with 56 percent of the vote.
Lastly, Andrea Valderrama, an incumbent and an aide to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, faced no competition for Position 6.
Two incumbents in the Parkrose School District were the only candidates in their races, meaning Mary Lu Baetkey and Erick Flores cruised to re-election. In Position 2, Sara Kirby beat Karen Carter with 63 percent. In Position 4, Sonja McKenzie won with 58 percent of the vote, edging out K. Basquez.
The Multnomah Education Service District offered the chance for four new members to join its board. In the at-large seat for Position 2, Helen Ying beat Kristin Cornuelle and John Sweeney with 47 percent of the vote.
In Position 1 representing east Multnomah County's Zone 5, which stretches from Gresham to Corbett, Susie Jones prevailed over Abigail Howatt with 65 percent of the initial results.
Incumbent Mary Botkin prevailed in her re-election bid for Position 3, representing Northwest and inner Northeast Portland. She faced Joe Hanson.
In the final MESD race of the election, Jessica Arzate prevailed over Frank Acosta, the incumbent, and Jodi Ballard-Beach, with 41 percent of the vote. Position 4 represents Southeast Portland and parts of Northeast Portland east of Interstate-205
Portland Community College also had four seats up for grabs but only one of those seats, Zone 5, offered a contested race. In that race, Valdez Bravo earned 60 percent of the vote, winning against Moses Ross and David Squire.