|Bellevue—The preliminary results from this general election are in. And the success rate of the WAGOP spotlighted and supported school board campaigns is outstanding.
Several months ago, the WAGOP identified 36 school board races from school districts all around the state to spotlight and support in this year’s general election. State parties don’t often get involved in local races, including school boards. The races are considered too local, too nonpartisan, and too risky.
For multiple reasons, the WAGOP decided to accept those challenges and get involved, specifically in school board races.
First, according to the Washington State Constitution, providing a uniform high-quality basic education is the “paramount duty” of state government. Second, there is a growing dissatisfaction in all corners of the state about the declining performance of our K-12 schools. Third, getting involved in local school board races would give the WAGOP an opportunity to perfect campaign tactics and strategies that the Party has been developing for some time. Fourth, supporting school board candidates was an opportunity to “reboot” the WAGOP and establish a framework for winning elections.
So, the Party selected 36 school board races that represent a strong cross-section of Washington. Some races were in large districts, others in small districts. Some were in tight groupings, others more isolated. Some in traditionally “blue” areas, others in “red” areas. The common thread: Elections that involved clear choices between common-sense conservative candidates and…other types.
Those common-sense conservative candidates in the selected school board races received some or all of the following types of support from the WAGOP:
As of initial Election Day reporting, the 36 campaigns fall into these categories: 30 winning, 4 too close to call, 2 trailing. That is an outstanding win rate that still has room to climb.
Specifically, here are the 36 candidates running that the WAGOP supported this fall:
WAGOP Chairman Jim Walsh had this to say about the Party’s successful school board support project:
“This has been such a great experience. Since I first called these candidates, earlier this year, they’ve been outstanding partners in building winning campaigns. We worked together to refine our strategies and tactics. Tools for listening and talking with everyone, all around Washington. Some candidates wanted more help, others less—but everyone agreed with goal of showing voters that common-sense conservatives can win in every region of the state.
“And did we ever! Our winning percentage for these spotlighted school board races is outstanding. An ‘A’ grade, by any standard. Now, we’re going to scale up the lessons in winning that we’ve learned this fall. Into more races, in more parts of Washington.”