After months of incredibly hard and good work by Stand for Children staff, leaders, and members across our network of affiliates, I am happy to share a summary of our results in Tuesday’s elections.
Collectively, we targeted 59 total candidate races and ballot measure campaigns in this cycle following a thorough diligence process which included candidate questionnaires, voting record reviews, candidate interviews, and careful ballot measure analysis (where applicable).
Here is a breakdown of our results in priority campaigns:
43 state-level candidate races - 79% won
9 district-level candidate races - 78% won
7 ballot measures/referenda - 83% passed with one too close to call
Below is a brief synopsis of our electoral efforts by state:
Stand Arizona targeted seven state Senate and House races. All three Senate incumbents won re-election. Of the four House races, one candidate won, two candidates lost, and one candidate’s race remains too close to call. Stand organizers and volunteers knocked on more than 3,500 doors, reached more than 85,000 voters by mail, 43,000 by phone, and tens of thousands more via digital ads.
Stand Arizona also invested to help defeat Prop 126 and Prop 305, both of which would siphon crucial funds away from Arizona’s already chronically underfunded public schools. We were successful in helping defeat Prop 305, which would have expanded the state’s private school voucher program. We were unsuccessful in helping defeat Prop 126, which would have prevented state and local governments from enacting new or increased taxes on services.
We supported six legislative candidates and gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, who embraced Stand’s platform for fostering high school success. All seven of the candidates we endorsed in targeted races won their elections Tuesday night.
Stand Colorado also played a key role in the effort to pass the Prosperity Denver Initiative, which would raise the sales tax to allocate $14 million per year to a college scholarship fund serving thousands of students in need. Canvassers and parents knocked on over 16,500 doors in support of the initiative, which is narrowly leading but is still too close to call.
To bolster our efforts in Illinois for equitable funding and policies and investments that increase graduation rates and graduates’ preparation for college and career, Stand Illinois endorsed 26 legislative candidates and targeted 18. Fourteen of the targeted 18 won their races. Stand also made a splash just before election day with the release of a widely publicized Stop Illinois Brain Drain report. With the election of JB Pritzker as governor and a supermajority for Democrats in both the state Senate and the House, the context is ripe for progress on our legislative priorities.
With Stand Indiana’s strong support, two crucial referenda passed overwhelmingly that will channel more than $270 million in urgently needed operating and facilities funds to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) for safety improvements and teacher pay increases.
In the IPS school board races, Stand Indiana won one of our three targeted candidates, helping elect Stand-endorsed candidate Evan Hawkins. We knocked on 23,000 doors, called thousands of voters, sent more than a dozen mail pieces to tens of thousands of voters, and enlisted workers at more than 70 Indianapolis polling sites on Election Day.
Stand Louisiana was successful in electing all three of our targeted candidates in the East Baton Rouge School District, including Tramelle Howard, a dynamic educator and graduate of Stand’s Education Leadership Institute who is the youngest African-American male elected to the school board. The team reached tens of thousands of voters, knocking on 13,000 doors for endorsed candidates, and sending 2,000 GOTV text messages.
In Jefferson Parish, Stand Louisiana was successful in winning three targeted school board races. During the last two weeks of the campaign, Stand made 10,900 calls for endorsed candidates and on election day we sent 7,000 GOTV text messages.
Stand Oregon focused on electing education champions who will work with us to secure full funding for Measure 98, the ballot initiative we developed and passed in 2016 and for which we secured $170 million in funding from the Oregon Legislature for 2017-2019 to improve Oregon’s low graduation rates and increase graduates’ readiness for college, career training, or careers.
Stand Oregon ran a robust endorsement process, weighing in on 43 state legislative races and the gubernatorial race. 42 of the 43 candidates we backed won, including Gov. Kate Brown. Our team also helped pass three school district bond that will fund upgrades to high school facilities and expand and improve career and technical education (CTE) course offerings. Stand volunteers filled an incredible 229 campaign shifts, including 154 canvassing shifts and 75 additional shifts making calls, waving signs, writing postcards and letters to editor, and leafletting schools.
Stand invested into the Dallas Vote 4 Kids campaign, which passed a substantial local property tax increase that will generate $126 million every year to increase pay for teachers, expand early childhood education, provide more schools of choice, advance racial equity, and offer innovative pathways to college and careers. In addition to the significant financial investment, Stand Dallas encouraged educators to join forces with the campaign to provide grassroots support.
Stand Washington helped four of our six targeted candidates prevail, unseating two incumbent state Senators and one state Representative, and winning 12 of 15 endorsed races. The results leave us better positioned to accomplish our legislative goals, which include requiring and funding districts to implement an evidence-based early warning and intervention system to keep ninth graders on track, requiring and supporting districts to adopt an Academic Acceleration policy that results in students being automatically qualified for advanced classes based on merit, and increasing the presence of guidance counselors and college and career counselors in Washington high schools.