Sunday, April 8, 2012

BADASS: 3 College Students Beat Grownups in Prince George's School Board Primaries // Teenage Frontrunners for November

UPDATE: To provide a bit of procedural detail, the Prince George's County Board of Education consists of nine members elected in Districts, plus one student member. Each election cycle, only half of the board seats are elected, thereby creating staggered terms. The April 3, 2012 Primary Elections featured contests for the school primaries in Districts 1, 4, 5, 7 and 8. This November, the top two primary election finishers from Districts 1, 4, 5, 7 and 8 will face off for the General Election. NOTE: We provide the full election results at the bottom of this article. 

In the latest sign of generational grumbling, Maryland Juice just caught a very cool article from this week's Washington Post. In last Tuesday's Board of Education primaries in Prince George's County, three college students stunned observers by demolishing their "grownup" competitors. Indeed, three youths ranging in age from 18 to 20 are now frontrunners for their November General Election races: Raheela Ahmed, Edward Burroughs, and David Murray. Ahmed and Burroughs are newcomers, but 19-year-old Edward Burroughs is an incumbent. Notably, Burroughs was the only incumbent facing challengers who actually came in first in their primary. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Raheela Ahmed beat the Chair of the school board!  Hat tip to the PG-Politics blog for flagging The Washington Post's coverage:
WASHINGTON POST: The president of the Council of Prince George’s County PTAs said her phone has been ringing nonstop since final results from Tuesday’s primary election were reported.

The main topic of conversation: Edward Burroughs III, Raaheela Ahmed and David Murray, two teenagers and a 20-year-old who crushed their opponents in the school board races and are now the front-runners heading into November’s general election.

Burroughs, 19, a student at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, won 67 percent of the vote in his reelection bid. Murray, 20, also a UMBC student, captured 56 percent of the vote in his race. And in one of the county’s most closely watched races, Ahmed, a student at the University of Maryland at College Park and the youngest of the trio at 18, received 34 percent of the vote, beating her closest opponent, school board Chairman Jeana Jacobs, who got 25 percent of the vote.

“The voting is a reflection of a strong desire for change,” said Theresa Saunders, the head of the county PTA group, characterizing the sentiments of some parents who called her about the outcome. “I don’t think they [were] looking at the age. They [were] looking at change.”

All of the incumbents facing challengers, except Burroughs, lost their races....

“I think it’s terrific,” said Anne L. Bryant, the executive director of the National School Boards Association. “We teach civics in our schools and I think it’s a great sign of a new generation of involvement.”

Carl W. Smith, the executive director of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, agreed, saying, “That’s what we’re trying to get in a democracy. We practically harangue them to get out and vote.”

The young candidates used their recent experience in the school system as part of the focus of their campaigns.

“My thirteen years in Prince George’s schools is fresh in my mind,” Ahmed said. “I believe that is a good asset to base my decisions in the future.”

Ahmed, who is gearing up for her general campaign, said she realizes she and her fellow college students may have a tough battle ahead....

Camilla R. Marshall, a parent who lives in Mitchellville, said the young candidates should be commended for their involvement. “I think the youth are crying out because of the failures of the adults,” Marshall said. “They see what is wrong. . . . I think they want to be a part of the solution.”

Check out the websites of the three young Board of Education candidates below:
  1. Raheela Ahmed - District 5 - 
  2. Edward Burroughs - District 8 -
  3. David Murray - District 1 -

UPDATE: The full election results were as follows:

Board of Education District 1
  1. David Murray - 3572 - (55.2%)
  2. Zabrina Epps - 2035 - (31.4%)
  3. Mike McLaughlin - 868 - (13.4%)
Board of Education District 4
  1. Micah Watson - 2078 - (33.7%)
  2. Sandy Vaughns - 1323 - (21.5%)
  3. Patricia Eubanks - 1317 - (21.4%)
  4. Dennis Smith - 1282 - (20.8%)
  5. Joseph Kitchen - 158 - (2.6%)
Board of Education District 5
  1. Raaheela Ahmed - 3650  (34.3%)
  2. Jeana Jacobs - 2676 (25.2%)
  3. Deidre Jackson - 2203 - (20.7%)
  4. Sharon Theodore-Lewis - 1182 - (11.1%)
  5. Sherine Taylor - 916 - (8.6%)
Board of Education District 7
  1. Carletta Fellows - 2175 - (33.5%)
  2. Henry Armwood - 1534 - (23.6%)
  3. John Richardson - 1032 - (15.9%)
  4. Lydia Walker Thompson - 952 - (14.7%)
  5. Lykisha Perkins - 801 - (12.3%)
Board of Education District 8
  1. Edward Burroughs - 6734 - (66.6%)
  2. André Nottingham - 1566 - (15.5%)
  3. Erika Walcott - 905 - (9.0%)
  4. Eric Hurley - 571 - (5.6%)
  5. O. J. Bego - 333 - (3.3%)

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