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Cherry Creek Schools: Union-backed candidates leading in 2 races

Voters in the school district in Arapahoe County are choosing school board members in Districts D and E on Nov. 2.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Voters in the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) were electing two members to its five-member board of directors on Tuesday. The open seats are in districts D and E and those elected will serve four-year terms.

District D

Incumbent Kathy Bates, who was first elected in 2017 and currently serves as vice president, is hoping to keep her position and is endorsed by the Colorado Education Association (CEA).

She’s being challenged by Jennifer Gibbons, who founded a charter school on the eastern side of the district, and Schumé Navarro who sued the school district to obtain a personal exemption for the facial covering requirement at candidate forums.

Navarro, who is endorsed by the Colorado GOP and was named their “rising star" this year, missed two forums due to the policy and wore a mask for the third one. She was able to attend the final one without a mask after a ruling by a judge. She supports parental choice when it comes to masking in schools.

RELATED: Judge allows Cherry Creek school board candidate to go maskless at forum

In regards to COVID-19, Bates wrote in her questionnaire that she believes the right path is to follow the guidance of health leaders.

 Gibbons, who is endorsed by the Colorado GOP wrote that schools need to take “necessary precautions” that have been “proven effective” to prevent COVID-19 from spreading but didn’t provide specifics. 

District E

Three newcomers look to replace current board president Kathy Fischer in District E. Candidates for the district include Kristin Allan, Bill Leach and Jason Lester. 

Allan, who is endorsed by the Colorado Education Association (CEA),  in her questionnaire did not provide a stance on COVID-19 protocols but said she believes in the “well-being of the whole child” and supports having a registered nurse and mental health professional in every building.

Leach, who is endorsed by the Colorado GOP says his priorities include safe and secure schools with a focus on both physical and mental health. In his questionnaire, he did not provide specifics about COVID-19 protocols.

Lester touted his background in social work on his questionnaire and wrote that regarding public health, the district “must embrace and respect” the recommendations of public health officials and not politicize the public health crisis.

For more election results, go to 9news.com/elections.

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