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School board incumbents poised for new terms; challenger concedes

Hurd, Jennison finish in top spots; 848 votes separate Mintz, Pandell for third seat, per Election Night results

The San Ramon Valley school board appears on its way to seeing three current board members return to the dais, if the voting trends from the unofficial Election Night results hold true when the ballot count is finalized later this month.

Incumbents Rachel Hurd and Denise Jennison finished a comfortable one-two in the election for three school board seats, while fellow incumbent Ken Mintz held 848-vote advantage over challenger Jerome C. Pandell in the battle for third place, according to Election Night totals.

Contra Costa County election officials still need to count nearly 100,000 ballots countywide, but they said they could not determine at this point how many of those outstanding ballots pertained to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District contest.

Pandell conceded the race on Wednesday, saying "the margin seems sturdy at this point," but Mintz was hesitant to declare victory outright Wednesday afternoon, saying he was "cautiously optimistic that the preliminary results from (Tuesday) evening will hold up as the county processes the outstanding absentee and provisional ballots."

County election officials said they hope to have all election tallies finalized by Nov. 26 -- more than a week sooner than the deadline to submit final results to the California Secretary of State.

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The unofficial totals reported just after midnight Wednesday indicate Hurd and Jennison are shoe-ins for another school board term.

Hurd, who has served on the board since 2006, finished Election Night in the top spot with 14,182 votes, or 28.79% of the ballots counted.

Hurd said Wednesday afternoon that she looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the current school board and school district leadership as they work toward developing "meaningful parent, staff and community engagement and transparency."

"What I most look forward to in the coming term is seeing our implementation of the Common Core standards and our initiatives for increased student engagement, inclusion, and a cohesive multi-tiered support system come to fruition so that every student finds success in their learning," she added.

In her bid for a second straight term, Jennison ended Election Night in second place with 26.53% of the vote (13,072 votes) -- more than 3.5% ahead of third-place Mintz.

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"I would just like to thank all of my supporters for putting their faith in me," Jennison said Wednesday morning. "I look forward to serving the children of this community for the next four years."

"I am proud serve with board members who consistently put the needs of the children in the classroom at the forefront of every decision," she added. "As we move forward, I will continue to be diligent about maintaining the district's financial integrity while working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure success for every child."

Mintz, in his 10th year on the school board, finished Election Night in third place with 11,302 votes, or 22.94%. He initially served on the board from 1992-96, was appointed to fill an unexpired term in 2009 and then elected to his second full term in November 2010.

"We have one of top-performing school districts in the state, and as I discussed during the election, I believe we succeed best when we work together -- whether it's through improved staff development and support for our teachers, collaboration with other local agencies or increased parental and community involvement," Mintz said Wednesday.

"The election process has been an opportunity to highlight the great work of our district in meeting the needs of our students and discussing the issues that affect their education," he said. "I look forward to playing a continued role in making that vision a positive reality for every student in our district."

Election Night brought a last-place finish for first-time candidate Pandell, a 31-year-old San Ramon Valley High graduate who lives in Danville and works as an attorney for a Walnut Creek-based firm.

Pandell's vote total stood at 10,454 (or 21.22%) as of Election Night.

"I loved running to offer fresh ideas to help our students, teachers and schools become even better, and I did because the teachers who taught me in San Ramon Valley schools shaped who I am today," Pandell said Wednesday.

"I'm extraordinarily proud of the positive, forward-thinking vision I put forward as a candidate to help lead our great school district, and believe that the results show many voters agreed that the school board needed a new voice," he added. "Unfortunately -- given the low turnout in this election overall -- not enough voters who likely support implementing that forward-thinking vision cast a ballot."

The unofficial election results announced early Wednesday included early vote-by-mail results and totals reported Election Night by all 93 precincts within the school district.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article listed an incorrect margin separating third and fourth place. The prior version also incorrectly referred to voter turnout in the race. DanvilleSanRamon.com regrets the errors.

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Jeremy Walsh
 
Jeremy Walsh, a Benicia native and American University alum, joined Embarcadero Media in November 2013. After serving as associate editor for the Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com, he was promoted to editor of the East Bay Division in February 2017. Read more >>

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School board incumbents poised for new terms; challenger concedes

Hurd, Jennison finish in top spots; 848 votes separate Mintz, Pandell for third seat, per Election Night results

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Nov 6, 2014, 3:27 am
Updated: Thu, Nov 6, 2014, 5:48 pm

The San Ramon Valley school board appears on its way to seeing three current board members return to the dais, if the voting trends from the unofficial Election Night results hold true when the ballot count is finalized later this month.

Incumbents Rachel Hurd and Denise Jennison finished a comfortable one-two in the election for three school board seats, while fellow incumbent Ken Mintz held 848-vote advantage over challenger Jerome C. Pandell in the battle for third place, according to Election Night totals.

Contra Costa County election officials still need to count nearly 100,000 ballots countywide, but they said they could not determine at this point how many of those outstanding ballots pertained to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District contest.

Pandell conceded the race on Wednesday, saying "the margin seems sturdy at this point," but Mintz was hesitant to declare victory outright Wednesday afternoon, saying he was "cautiously optimistic that the preliminary results from (Tuesday) evening will hold up as the county processes the outstanding absentee and provisional ballots."

County election officials said they hope to have all election tallies finalized by Nov. 26 -- more than a week sooner than the deadline to submit final results to the California Secretary of State.

The unofficial totals reported just after midnight Wednesday indicate Hurd and Jennison are shoe-ins for another school board term.

Hurd, who has served on the board since 2006, finished Election Night in the top spot with 14,182 votes, or 28.79% of the ballots counted.

Hurd said Wednesday afternoon that she looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the current school board and school district leadership as they work toward developing "meaningful parent, staff and community engagement and transparency."

"What I most look forward to in the coming term is seeing our implementation of the Common Core standards and our initiatives for increased student engagement, inclusion, and a cohesive multi-tiered support system come to fruition so that every student finds success in their learning," she added.

In her bid for a second straight term, Jennison ended Election Night in second place with 26.53% of the vote (13,072 votes) -- more than 3.5% ahead of third-place Mintz.

"I would just like to thank all of my supporters for putting their faith in me," Jennison said Wednesday morning. "I look forward to serving the children of this community for the next four years."

"I am proud serve with board members who consistently put the needs of the children in the classroom at the forefront of every decision," she added. "As we move forward, I will continue to be diligent about maintaining the district's financial integrity while working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure success for every child."

Mintz, in his 10th year on the school board, finished Election Night in third place with 11,302 votes, or 22.94%. He initially served on the board from 1992-96, was appointed to fill an unexpired term in 2009 and then elected to his second full term in November 2010.

"We have one of top-performing school districts in the state, and as I discussed during the election, I believe we succeed best when we work together -- whether it's through improved staff development and support for our teachers, collaboration with other local agencies or increased parental and community involvement," Mintz said Wednesday.

"The election process has been an opportunity to highlight the great work of our district in meeting the needs of our students and discussing the issues that affect their education," he said. "I look forward to playing a continued role in making that vision a positive reality for every student in our district."

Election Night brought a last-place finish for first-time candidate Pandell, a 31-year-old San Ramon Valley High graduate who lives in Danville and works as an attorney for a Walnut Creek-based firm.

Pandell's vote total stood at 10,454 (or 21.22%) as of Election Night.

"I loved running to offer fresh ideas to help our students, teachers and schools become even better, and I did because the teachers who taught me in San Ramon Valley schools shaped who I am today," Pandell said Wednesday.

"I'm extraordinarily proud of the positive, forward-thinking vision I put forward as a candidate to help lead our great school district, and believe that the results show many voters agreed that the school board needed a new voice," he added. "Unfortunately -- given the low turnout in this election overall -- not enough voters who likely support implementing that forward-thinking vision cast a ballot."

The unofficial election results announced early Wednesday included early vote-by-mail results and totals reported Election Night by all 93 precincts within the school district.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article listed an incorrect margin separating third and fourth place. The prior version also incorrectly referred to voter turnout in the race. DanvilleSanRamon.com regrets the errors.

Comments

Janey
San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm
Janey, San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

So Mr. Mintz won despite having the local teachers' union support of Mr. Pandell. He is now free of their influence, making him the only board member who owes them nothing. In the future board candidates should think more carefully before seeking their support, as it may backfire on their campaigns.


Resident
San Ramon
on Nov 13, 2014 at 8:48 am
Resident, San Ramon
on Nov 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

I know that Denise and Rachel are upset with the union for NOT endorsing Ken Mintz.

This move by the union to endorse and promote JP has backfired here in the valley.


Douglas
Blackhawk
on Nov 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm
Douglas, Blackhawk
on Nov 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm

So sad that we still have morons running the school board! :(


Janey
San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Janey, San Ramon
on Nov 16, 2014 at 8:29 pm

The reality is that only Ken Mintz no longer owes his position to the local teachers' union. It will be interesting to see what Greg Marvel does when he runs for reelection in 2 years. Will he once again take the union money, despite him claiming to be the one conservative board member? Stay tuned and keep watching.


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