Voters Recall Two School Board Members in Alameda County

Another pair of conservative school board members have been ousted by voters in a special recall election in Alameda County. Sunol Glen Unified Trustees Ryan Jergensen and Linda Hurley were narrowly defeated last Tuesday (see results here). 

Jergensen and Hurley were elected in 2022 when a wave of conservative candidates won school board races across the state. Those candidates would go on to pursue a number of controversial policies involving race, gender, and other culture war issues. 

In September,  Jergensen and Hurley supported a policy limiting campus flag displays to the U.S. and California flags. The policy effectively barred LGBTQ pride flag displays, critics said. 

The Sunol Glen recalls are part of a larger backlash against conservatives who swept school board elections in the COVID era. Woodland Joint Unified High School trustee Emily MacDonald, who referred to trans identity as a “social contagion,” was recalled in March. Two right-wing Orange Unified School District trustees, Rick Ledesma and Madison Miner, were ousted that same month. In June, voters in the Temecula Valley Unified School District recalled their board president Joseph Komrosky, who infamously referred to Harvey Milk as a “pedophile” during a fight to block a state-approve social studies textbook. 

“We have a lot of proof points now across the state that the average voter is not happy with what extremists are doing with our school boards,” Kristi Hirst, co-founder of Our Schools USA, told the San Francisco Chronicle

These school members and their supporters take issue with that characterization. Far from being “extremists,” they argue they are trying to restore parents’ rights. However you characterize their objectives, the spate of recalls makes one thing clear: many voters aren’t interested.


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Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - 13:41

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