Simone Alicea
Seattle School Board candidates Sue Peters (Pos. 4), Suzanne Dale Estey (Pos. 4), and Stephan Blanford (Pos. 5) participate in a forum at the 34th District Democrats meeting Wednesday.

34th District Dems endorse for School Board, Burien City Council

By Simone Alicea

The 34th District Democrats endorsed candidates in three races at their meeting Wednesday evening after speaking with local representatives about the extended legislative session.

The 34th Democrats endorsed Stephan Blanford for Director 5 on the Board of Directors for Seattle Public Schools. District 5 encompasses all of West Seattle. Blanford has two opponents in the primary election, Olu Thomas and LaCrese Green, who were not at the meeting.

Voters in West Seattle will see those names during the primary election on August 6 In the general election, voters across Seattle will see the names of candidates for all of the director positions.

For Position 4 on the school board, the 34th Democrats dually endorsed Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters Both candidates are also running against Dean McColgan, who was not at the meeting.

The major school board concerns for the Democrats revolved around charter schools, math curricula and the divisive nature of the current school board.

Betty Patu was supposed to be considered for endorsement for Position 7 on the school board, but was unable to attend the meeting. Patu is running unopposed.

The group also dually endorsed incumbent Rose Clark and challenger Nancy Tosta for Burien City Council Position 5.

This slate of endorsements followed a forum with the school board candidates as well as speeches by the Burien City Council candidates. The dual endorsements occurred because neither candidate could obtain 60 percent of the vote needed for a sole endorsement.

The 34th Democrats made many more endorsements for Mayor, Seattle City Council, King County Sheriff, and more at their June meeting

In addition to these endorsements, state Sen. Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon spoke to the 34th Democrats about the extended legislative session and some of the compromises made

The biggest concern for the legislature this summer has been agreeing on a state budget. The legislators at the meeting said they were proud of some of the deals, particularly in healthcare and in closing certain tax loopholes, but were disappointed by others, especially what Nelson called a “shaky” foundation for education and the failure of the state Senate to approve a transportation package.

The 2013 legislative session was extended twice this summer before state legislators could agree on a budget. Gov. Jay Inslee approved the $33.6 billion in June.

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