Democratic Party, Oregon City Education Association endorses board challenger Martha Spiers to unseat Troy Bolinger

Martha Spiers unseated Oregon City School Board member Troy Bolinger, while Evon Tekorius will keep her seat from challenger Emily Farrer. Farrer and Spiers are Democrats who were endorsed by the local teachers union.

An equity policy approved by the Oregon City School District and this poster that has been displayed at OC schools this year have been up for debate by board members.Tekorius earned the Republican nomination and Evon Tekoriuslast November ran unsuccessfully against Mark Meek for State House District 40. By a 59-to-41-percent margin in unofficial election results, Tekorius defeated to Farrer, director of cyber security and IT infrastructure program delivery at Kaiser Permanente.

Losing Tuesday's election by a 35-to-27-percent margin in unofficial election results, Bolinger switched from the Republican Party to the Independent Party when he moved to Oregon City in 2010. Bolinger's main opponent, Martha Spiers, said she wanted to give voters a clear "progressive" choice in the May 16 election.

Spiers, whose candidacy is informed by her day job as a county social worker, pointed out that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds. Oregon's average Martha Spierssuicide rate is higher than the U.S. average, and Clackamas County's rate is higher than Oregon's. County officials have recognized that police officers have become the "defacto mental health response," and Spiers wants teachers similarly trained in recognizing issues, since they are on the front lines for addressing metal health in kids.

Bolinger and Spiers were on opposite sides of a debate on the board about how to design posters welcoming children to school.

"There is a controversy on the OC School Board about whether or not an equity statement should list out marginalized groups so that they know for sure they, in particular, are welcome, or whether the statement should just reference 'all' students," Spiers wrote to her supporters on May 9, making it clear that she believes that the more explicit the district can be in making students know they are welcomed and valued, the better.

Both Bolinger and Spiers have children attending Oregon City schools, and they're both extremely concerned about the school budget cuts being contemplated by the state.

OC School Board vice-chair Connie Curteman ran unopposed in the May 16 election.

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