News Update

More than 100 Bay Area school board candidates — including some with extreme views — running unopposed

At least 100 school board elections in the Bay Area have only one candidate, meaning the race will not appear on voters’ ballots due to cost-cutting measures, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The state policy of not including unopposed candidates on school board and special district ballots means that some candidates will win election without voters knowing who’s being elected. This potentially paves the way for candidates with extreme positions gaining seats on school boards without voters’ knowledge, the newspaper reported.

Among the candidates running unopposed in the Bay Area is Dennis Delisle, an accountant and business owner who opposes homosexuality, wrote that descendants of slaves “are so much better off” than if their ancestors had been left in Africa, and has said he believes the role of public schools is to teach young people about God.

Troy Flint, the spokesperson for the California School Boards Association, said it’s not a surprise that some candidates can get elected to school boards with little scrutiny.

“Given the huge time commitment if you do it well, given the amount of work involved, the amount of scrutiny and sometimes hostility school boards are experiencing, it’s not exactly an enticing position,” Flint told the Chronicle. “My fear is that if the position becomes less appealing, the only people who will run will have self-interested reasons for doing so.”