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HomeEducationPaul Ballenger drops out of the Denver faculty board race

Paul Ballenger drops out of the Denver faculty board race


Candidate Paul Ballenger introduced Friday that he’s dropping out of the race for an at-large seat on the Denver faculty board.

Ballenger, a 46-year-old Denver Public Colleges mum or dad who works as a safety advisor, mentioned in an interview that the choice to exit the race was strategic. 

“To essentially see it by means of — and particularly for an at-large race, and it’s a giant metropolis — to have that attain, I simply felt like we didn’t have what it takes to see it by means of successfully,” he mentioned.

Ballenger’s exit leaves three candidates vying for an at-large seat representing the complete metropolis: John Youngquist, a former principal of Denver’s East Excessive Faculty and a DPS mum or dad; Kwame Spearman, a DPS graduate and part-owner of the Tattered Cowl bookstores; and Brittni Johnson, a DPS mum or dad and doctoral scholar.

Two different faculty board seats, representing southeast Denver’s District 1 and northwest Denver’s District 5, are additionally up for grabs on Nov. 7.

Ballenger lagged behind Youngquist and Spearman in fundraising as of Sept. 18, the date of the final marketing campaign finance reviews filed with the Colorado Secretary of State. Ballenger had raised about $13,850, in comparison with greater than $57,000 by Youngquist and greater than $59,000 by Spearman. Johnson had raised lower than $1,000.

Ballenger mentioned he’s endorsing Youngquist for the at-large seat. Youngquist has gotten a number of endorsements, together with from pro-education reform group Denver Households Motion, which is the political arm of a company that was began with the backing of native constitution faculty networks. Reform organizations have traditionally spent large to attempt to get their candidates elected.

The Denver Classroom Lecturers Affiliation additionally spends large at school board elections. However the union has not but endorsed a candidate for the at-large seat. 

Within the final Denver faculty board election two years in the past, the academics union launched its endorsements piecemeal in June, July, and early September. However as of late September this yr, the union has solely endorsed one candidate: incumbent Scott Baldermann in District 1. 

Ballenger is the second candidate to drop out of this yr’s at-large race. Ulcca Joshi Hansen exited the race final month after she didn’t get the endorsement from Denver Households Motion.

Ballenger mentioned he entered the college board race as a result of he was involved about DPS’ response to a taking pictures inside East Excessive in March.

“I’m proud we made positive security was a prime precedence this election,” Ballenger mentioned in an interview Friday. “Hopefully good issues come from that.”

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, overlaying Denver Public Colleges. Contact Melanie at




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