Naturally, as soon as I put up a blog post about how teacher union elections routinely go, we had a few unusual results from a slew of state and local affiliate elections last week. Of course, the environment was different because these officers were elected by delegates and union reps, who are by definition the most involved. That way you deal with the problem of an uninvolved rank-and-file by institutionalizing it.
Here’s how it went across the nation:
* Education Minnesota president Tom Dooher was running for a third term, but he was unseated by incumbent secretary-treasurer Denise Specht. Specht says her election does not represent a major upheaval in the union. Perhaps, but incumbents rarely challenge other incumbents in NEA state affiliates. We’ll see what happens next in Minnesota.
* The Washington Education Association had three candidates running for the state presidency, including the incumbent vice president. But he was defeated by Kim Mead, president of the Everett Education Association.
* In Florida, members of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association ousted president Joe Vitalo and elected Jo Ann Hartge, a former president, to a new term.
* Nevada State Education Association delegates elected Clark County Education Association president Ruben Murillo Jr. to the state presidency. I can’t find signs of any other candidate.
* Truer to form was the Wisconsin Education Association Council, which elected incumbent vice president Betsy Kippers to the presidency over two challengers. Similarly, Missouri NEA selected incumbent vice president Charles E. Smith as president.