Catherine Crystal Foster concedes Palo Alto school board race to Terry Godfrey

Dauber, Godfrey are the Board of Education's newest members

After more than a week of being locked in a tight battle for the second open Palo Alto school board seat, Catherine Crystal Foster has conceded to Terry Godfrey.

"At this point, the county has recorded all remaining vote-by-mail ballots, and there are only a few thousand uncounted provisional ballots remaining county-wide. The uncounted ballots are unlikely to change the outcome, so I offer my sincere congratulations to Ken and Terry as the new members of our school board," Foster wrote in an email message to her supporters. "Both Terry and Ken will be staunch advocates for our students, and I wish them both the best."

Foster, a parent of two whose 20-year career has focused on education and social justice, has trailed Godfrey since Election Day, with the spread between the two as little as 12 votes at one point last week. The results trickled in through daily updates as the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters processed several thousand provisional ballots (those that require extra attention, including a verification of the voter's status) each day.

According to the latest count, Godfrey is currently ahead by 199 votes – 9,638 to Foster's 9,439.

Ken Dauber secured his seat by a comfortable margin last week. The latest update shows him with 29.47 percent of the vote.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent these past six months discussing the future of Palo Alto's schools with so many in our community," Foster wrote in her message. "I continue to be energized by you, by the opportunities before us, and by the ambition of our new superintendent. To those of you who walked, called, endorsed, created, gave, wrote, informed, and inspired over this campaign -- many, many thanks. We created a network of positive thinkers who care about education that will continue long after the final ballots are counted."

"I'm looking forward to getting to the job," Godfrey told the Weekly Thursday. "I certainly feel like I have a good feeling for what people are interested in and how our community feels. We have a lot of momentum on really getting us to be student-centered, innovative place where our kids are socially emotional healthy and want to learn."

Dauber and Godfrey will join Camille Townsend, Heidi Emberling and Melissa Baten Caswell at the dais, serving four-year terms starting Dec. 9.

The registrar's office also plans to count and verify this week the roughly 14,000 provisional ballots that were cast countywide. Official results are scheduled to be certified on Dec. 2.

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3 people like this
Posted by It's time
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Time for Kou to do the same...
Cory will certainly do a fine job.

6 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

A shame there weren't three open seats for School Board. It was a difficult decision - they are all good. Frankly though, they didn't do enough public appearances besides their coffees. Sometimes all it takes is for the candidate to say hello and the vote is a done deal. They should have shown up at school pick-up times and Palo Alto events. I hope Foster runs again in 2016 when there are 3 seats.

5 people like this
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I, too, hope Foster runs in 2016; she's a strong candidate and will do well on the Board, if she chooses to run again.

1 person likes this
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

City council is a closer race - only 0.2% difference between the 5th and 6th position. We should wait for all votes to be counted.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Actually, these are entirely different situations.

In the school board race, we were very lucky this year as no matter who won, we all won, because the candidates were all so good. I personally felt that Dauber winning, regardless of who else won, was the best outcome, and that is what happened.

In the Council race, first of all, the balance of power on the Council and the future direction of the City hangs in the balance between two candidates with very different approaches. Those of us who support Kou know how quietly effective she is at getting things done, and she has proven herself as a residentialist, whereas Wolbach hasn't even cut his teeth in local politics as a member of the community and has aligned himself with Palo Alto Forward, the group that is stridently pushing high-density development.

The City Council races is closer, just a fifth of a percentage point of the votes, and those watching have already been concerned about some irregularities. [Portion removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Yup
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm

@Resident: Yup, the Weekly endorsed Wolbach, so suggesting that Kou not concede is not in alignment with their agenda...

7 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Yes, Foster was a good candidate who ran a strong campaign. She would likely be an upgrade over current board members. I was also very impressed with Dalma. She wasn't well know before the campaign and she ran against three exceptionally strong candidates, but she came across as very smart, articulate, exceptionally knowledgeable about educational policy, great values and a straight talker. I hope that she runs again too.

2 people like this
Posted by encouraged
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

I too congratulate Foster as a very viable and qualified candidate.
I too hope she would run again next time when there are 3 seats to fill.
I did not know her name prior to this campaign, and what I have learned during the campaign would led me to encourage her to run again (with the name recognition of an almost winner).

2 people like this
Posted by Julian
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm

When I went to Assemblyman Rich Gordon's education update meeting a few weeks ago, Foster was the only candidate in attendance. That sure cemented my vote. Disappointed that she didn't get in this time.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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