Mah’s lead over Baten Caswell grows in county Board of Education race

By the Daily Post staff

Grace Mah’s lead over Melissa Baten Caswell in the race for Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Area 1 is growing as more votes are counted.

On Election Night, Mah led 50.6% to 49.4% for Caswell.

As of today (Friday, Nov. 6), Mah has a 51.3% lead.

Mah has 38,718 votes to 36,821 for Caswell.

Mah is backed by the state’s charter schools while Caswell has the support of teachers unions.

This map from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website shows precincts won by Grace Mah in blue and those won by Melissa Baten Caswell in green.

Caswell carried precincts in Palo Alto and Los Altos. She served three terms on the Palo Alto Unified School District’s board. Caswell decided not to run again this year and turned her attention to the county Board of Education race.

Mah prevailed in Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Mah, who has been on the county Board of Education since 2007, is seen as a supporter of charter schools, including the controversial Bullis Charter School in Los Altos.

Parents in Los Altos Hills started Bullis when the Los Altos School District closed their community’s elementary schools. Bullis has drawn well-to-do families but critics say it shouldn’t be a charter that has the ability to use the facilities of public schools, such as the Los Alto School District.

Much of Bullis’ support came from Los Altos Hills, and that’s where Mah won precincts. But in Los Altos, where anger against Bullis lingers, Baten Caswell won.

Mah received about $200,000 from charter school political action committees. Baten Caswell raised more than $170,000, much of it from unions. Teacher unions have opposed charter schools in California.

1 Comment

  1. I hope Grace Mah wins. She ran a positive campaign, emphasizing her priorities, strengths, and passion for students. She was forced to raise a lot of money in order to remain competitive. The Caswell campaign started the arms race with a huge amount of money from anti-charter groups. So, it’s not surprising that pro-charter groups would feel threatened and contribute to Grace’s campaign. Sadly, so much money went into the race, instead of helping kids, such as securing more funding, like with prop 15.

    I found the Caswell campaign’s negative attack tactics distasteful. They complained about one of Grace’s ads that featured Ro Khanna who provided a quote praising the work that Grace did to help Ro’s educational initiative. In my mind their complaint denigrated the work that Grace and Ro did. I wish instead we could see more of that kind of positive collaboration. I’m glad Ro won his race. I hope Grace will win hers too.

Comments are closed.