Nov. 3, 2015, Douglas County voted on three of the eight seats of the school district Board of Directors seats. Three incumbents were up for reelection, one of them holding the Presidential seat of the school board. Craig Richardson, Richard Robbins, and Kevin Larsen ran for reelection against Wendy Vogel, David Ray, and Anne-Marie Lemieux, respectively.
The results concluded in a loss for all three incumbents. Craig Richardson polled at 41.23%, while his opponent Wendy Vogel sat above at 58.77%. For District F, Richard Robbins sat at 40.89%, while David Ray polled at 59.11%. As for the president seat and District C, incumbent Kevin Larsen polled at 41.73%, while Anne-Marie Lemieux polled above at 58.27%. Of the total of 225,737 registered voters in Douglas County, there was an average of a 28% turnout rate for this election.
The trend of electing challenging opponents in reverse of incumbents was dominated in the past few weeks leading up to the election. Candidates have issued the problems of the ambiguous and detached nature of this board in the past two years; the main goal of these challenging candidates, some of whom were non-educators and avid DCSD volunteers, was to fight the policies of the district in the past.
A majority of rallying against the incumbents stems around the excessive spending, students’ needs, and teacher/staff turnover rates, which have been recorded to be the 9th highest in the state of Colorado. These rally cries were often seen for weeks on lawns, painted on the backs of cars, and plastered over parents’ Facebook walls, observing the need for morality and trust in the very institution that controls the youth’s education directly.
An additional handful of forums, debates, and public meetings were held for the populous of Douglas County to view. Now that the elections are finished, Anne-Marie Lemieux is looking to make impactful and much-needed changes to the district in the near future.
By Laney Finn