On Tuesday the voters in Atlanta gave attorney and former teacher Jason Esteves a landslide victory with 71.5% of the vote total in the At Large 9 Board of Education race. Esteves won five of the six districts outright and essentially tied his opponent, Lori James, in District 6. The voting data also indicates that support for his opponent essentially collapsed as James received a lower percentage of the votes in the runoff election (28.5%) as compared to the general election (30.7%) last month.
The chart below presents the vote totals by district as well as voter turnout information (click to enlarge).
The following are a few observations based on the data in the chart above:
- In D-1, Esteves polled over 80% and James’ support dropped nearly 10 points from the general election.
- In D-2 which had the lowest turnout in the City with only 2.6% of the voters coming to the polls, James increased her total percent by nearly 10 points as compared to the general election, but still lost the District 57.8% to 42.2%.
- In D-3, Esteves received almost 83% of the vote – his highest percent in any district. At the same time, support for James plummeted by 11 points as compared to the general election.
- In D-4, the story remains the much better than average turnout – which at 9.8% – exceeded the Citywide average by 58%. In addition, D-4 accounted for 43% of Esteves’ vote margin of victory.
- In D-5, the turnout was also above the Citywide average and James’ percentage of the vote increase by 6 points over the general election. However, Esteves still claimed 63.7% of the vote.
- In D-6, turnout was about average – which is surprising given that voters also had district candidates to choose from. In addition, James won D-6 with a margin of victory of three votes.
Overall, it appears that there two factors at play in the voting patterns. First, it is likely that the voter that cast their ballots for Sean Norman and Eddie Lee Brewster in the general election all went to Esteves in the runoff. Second, there was a clear shift in support between the two candidates as James’ was unable to retain the voting percent across the City that she had gained in the general election. These two factors combined propelled Esteves to a landslide victory across the City.
Esteves’ message resounded with voters across the City and he now joins the Board of Education with an overwhelming mandate for the principles he espoused during his campaign. His very likeable manner and his ability to persuasively articulate his positions should make him a strong and consensus building force on the Board.
We are all expecting a tremendous amount from the new Board and Esteves will likely be a leader in the effort to enact positive changes.
Jason – nicely done!
[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]