At The Races

Races with big education implications, like Michael Bennet’s U.S. Senate race or the upcoming DC mayoral primary are pretty well known.  But there are some other races with big potential education implications just a little below the radar.  Here are three, who else?

Stairway to Beaven – In Florida Heather Beaven is running for Congress.  She’s CEO of The Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates, helping at-risk students there.  She’s a D.

Jeanne out of the bottle? – In Maryland veteran education advocate and agitator Jeanne Allen is running for state legislature.  She’s the founder of the Center for Education Reform in Washington.  She’s an R.

Bill is due – In another Maryland statehouse race Bill Ferguson is challenging a longtime incumbent for a state senate seat.   Education (primarily slow progress on improvement and the need for more ambitious steps) is central to the race.  He’s former TFA and has worked on education in several other roles in Baltimore.  He’s a D.

One Reply to “At The Races”

  1. Baltimore’s waterfront a political battleground

    Ferguson’s website showcases his Twitter feed and YouTube videos. His Facebook page has attracted more than 500 fans.

    Della, in contrast, has no online presence. But Ferguson’s camp took no chances about that: online records show that Friends of Bill Ferguson purchased the domain name the end of May.

    Della says social media doesn’t suit his style. “I’m accessible in person,” he said. “People do not hesitate having a conversation with me and explaining their problems.”

    True to form, when he knocked on a South Baltimore door, he was greeted warmly by Joe Kotofski, 51, who said he’s voted for Della since he was 18.

    “If you ever need something he will try to help you,” he said. Kotofski remembers landing a job as a lifeguard at a city pool, but being assigned across town. He turned to Della, who helped secure a transfer to a closer pool.

    Kotofski choked up as he spoke of a godson who was murdered three months ago. Della came to his door to help. “He’s not just a politician, he’s a true friend,” Kotofski said.

    Ferguson also has found an ally in powerful developer Patrick Turner, who is building a $1.2 billion housing, retail and entertainment center on the Middle Branch. In a fundraising letter for Ferguson, he attacks the incumbent, saying that the district “cannot thrive with the anti-economic development representation” in the state Senate.

    Turner and Della are longtime foes, and the two battled last legislative session after Della introduced a bill that would have prohibited Turner from obtaining any new liquor licenses in the footprint of Turner’s planned Westport development. Della says the project was accidently included in a bill intended to reduce the number of corner liquor stores in that part of the district.

    It remains to be seen if Ferguson can transfer his energy and endorsements into votes. On his website, he touts that he lives among “real people” in Baltimore. He notes his association with popular Baltimore City School CEO Dr. Andrés Alonso, who Della criticized last year after learning that the schools chief accepted a $29,000 bonus.

    “It just didn’t sit well with me,” Della said.

    Another high government contact has been edited out of Ferguson’s online resume. Though he includes an award he received from Baltimore’s Office of the Council President, he fails to mention that the office holder at the time was Sheila Dixon, who became mayor and then stepped down as part of a plea agreement earlier this year.

    Asked about that omission, Ferguson said there are a lot of “distractions” in campaigns.

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