With incumbent Marty McLaren losing to challenger Leslie Harris, four newcomers will make up the majority of the seven-member Seattle School Board.

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Leslie Harris defeated incumbent Marty McLaren in the Seattle School Board election, meaning that newcomers will make up the majority of the seven-member board.

Harris, a paralegal, led McLaren 75 percent to 25 percent in West Seattle’s District 6 race on Tuesday night. McLaren was the lone incumbent out of eight candidates vying for four spots.

The race for District 6 proved to be the most heated of the four. Harris received more votes than McLaren in the primary and an endorsement from Seattle’s teachers union, which had backed McLaren in 2012. McLaren, a retired teacher, said a vote for her was “a vote for stability,” while Harris campaigned on the promise of change.

In District 3, which covers a portion of Northeast Seattle, Eastlake and Montlake, Jill Geary was leading Lauren McGuire, with 59 percent of the vote going to Geary and 40 percent to McGuire. They both are well-known candidates with multiple endorsements and thousands of dollars in campaign donations.

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Geary, a special-education and family attorney, raised about $71,000, while McGuire, a former consultant and former president of the Seattle Council PTSA, had nearly $46,000. The two received a joint endorsement from the Seattle teachers union.

The winner will replace Harium Martin-Morris, who was on the board for two terms.

Scott Pinkham defeated Michael Christophersen in North Seattle’s District 1, with 66 percent of the Tuesday vote to Christophersen’s 34 percent. Pinkham, a diversity and access assistant director in the University of Washington’s College of Engineering, received a number of endorsements, including from the King County Democrats and Seattle’s teachers union. Neither Pinkham nor Christophersen, a technical consultant, reported raising any money for their campaigns.

The winner will replace Sharon Peaslee.

In District 2, Rick Burke defeated Laura Obara Gramer, getting 79 percent of the vote to Gramer’s 21 percent in first-day returns. Gramer, the only candidate whose children haven’t entered the Seattle K-12 system, campaigned on her experience working to improve the district’s hard-of-hearing program, where her son is enrolled as a preschooler.

Burke said his priorities include directing any new funding into classrooms and improving the district’s math programs and textbooks.

Board President Sherry Carr, who represented District 2, decided against seeking a third term.

The winners will join board directors Stephan Blanford, Sue Peters and Betty Patu.


Eight vying for four district seats:
Dist. Candidate Pct.
1 Michael Christophersen 34%
1 Scott S. Pinkham 66%
2 Rich Burke 79%
2 Laura Obara Gramer 21%
3 Jill Geary 59%
3 Lauren McGuire 40%
6 Leslie Harris 75%
6 Marty McLaren 25%
Results as of 8:15 p.m. Tuesday