UPDATE: 9:19 p.m.:
Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters both said they expected the race to be close. Dale Estey isn’t giving up yet.
“I am really hopeful that we’re going to pull this off,” said Dale Estey, who had about 48 percent of the vote in first day returns. “It was a tough campaign and Sue’s supporters are tenacious and she got her voters out and I commend her for that.”
Peters, who had just over 51 percent of the vote, said she wasn’t daunted by the money advantage or the negative ads that appeared in voters’ mailboxes last week, courtesy of Great Seattle Schools, an independent committee backing her opponent.
“The money was a challenge, of course, but we ran a smart, agile campaign,” Peters said. “We ran a campaign with integrity and I think that resonated with Seattle voters.”
UPDATE: 8:21 p.m.
Sue Peters led Suzanne Dale Estey by 3 percentage points in initial results Tuesday for one of two open Seattle school board seats.
Stephan Blanford easily led LaCrese Green for the other open seat, with nearly 88 percent of the votes going his way.
Incumbent board member Betty Patu ran unopposed for the third seat.
Voters today will elect three members – including filling two open seats — to the Seattle School Board.
Freelance journalist Sue Peters faces Suzanne Dale Estey, Renton’s former economic-development director, for one open seat.
The other open seat is a race between Stephan Blanford, a consultant with a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies, and LaCrese Green, a long time tutor of children of Ethiopian immigrants.
Incumbent board member Betty Patu ran unopposed for her seat.
The contest between Dale Estey and Peters became one of the hottest races in the election. The candidates framed the contest in ways that turned it into a referendum on the current board’s majority.
Dale Estey argued that the board has become distracted by infighting and micromanagement of the administration. Dale Estey promised to bring the right temperament and professionalism to the job.
Peters defended the board, arguing that the issue of infighting has been hyped by corporate elites backing Dale Estey who want a passive board and favor charter schools and other reforms that she says undermine public education. Peters argued that she had a record of opposing such reforms, both in her writing and in her work as a parent activist.