Doordan withdraws from school board race
Leaves only 2 local races on Nov. ballot
— After surviving a three-way primary in April, Erin Doordan has withdrawn her name from the Board of Education District 2 race, effectively ceding the seat to Jim Fazzino.
Doordan, who came in second to Fazzino in the primary, officially withdrew her candidacy on July 11,
though she did not publicly announce her decision until Monday night, a few hours after the Whig called to ask about her withdrawal. On Monday, Doordan said she decided to drop out because the campaign was taking too much time away from her family.
As the single mom of two boys, ages 10 and 12, Doordan said she couldn’t have anticipated how the campaign would affect her family.
“I have to do what’s best for me and my family,” she said. “I have to make sure my own students are doing well before I think about other students.”
Along with raising her sons , Door dan is also currently pursuing a degree at Wilmington University and working as an employee consultant for ServiceSource. In the end, juggling all these responsibilities became too much, she said.
While she “fully intended” to see the election through, Doordan said she feels comfortable dropping out knowing Fazzino will win the seat.
“I feel as though I was willing to put up a whole fight and win this thing for sure, but then when I thought about it, Jim (Fazzino) and I are really on the same page,” she said. “We really want what’s best for students.”
Doordan originally filed for the school board seat hours before the deadline in February, after learning that Ron Lobos, a member of the conservative activist Cecil County Patriots group, was the only person who filed for the seat. Unbeknownst to her though, Fazzino had filed just a few hours before her, setting up a three-way race in the April primary.
Since only two candidates can be on the November general election ballot, primaries are used to narrow the field when more than two people have filed for a seat.
Fazzino ultimately won the
primary handily, earning 47 percent of the vote with Doordan in second at 34 percent and Lobos in last with 19 percent. Fazzino and Doordan would have faced off in the general election to decide the winner of the seat.
Lobos, a self-described fiscal conservative, stirred controversy in the primary by running an outsider campaign that focused on the school budget and his opposition to the Common Core curriculum.
Lobos’s candidacy was one of the reasons Doordan said she filed for the seat and, with Lobos out of the running, she feels the seat is in good hands.
“I set out to do what I wanted to do,” she said. “Lobos won’t be on the school board for the next four years at least.”
While Doordan didn’t publicly announce her decision to drop-out until Monday, she meet with Fazzino in mid-June to tell him that she was considering leaving the race.
“I didn’t want him to spend any more money. There was no need for that,” she said.
During the primary election, Fazzino spent a total of $1,847, including $1,459 that he loaned to his own campaign, according to campaign finance reports released April 15, less than two weeks before the April 26 primary. He far outspent Lobos and Doordan who both filed notices that they had raised less than $1,000 for their campaigns.
Though he knew Doordan was considering dropping out, Fazzino said on Tuesday he didn’t realize she had officially withdrawn until he checked the election website last week. However, Fazzino said he wanted to wait for Doordan to publicly announce her withdrawal before he said anything publicly.
Although he’s now the District 2 Board of Education member-elect, Fazzino said not much will change with his campaign going forward.
“It’s an honor to serve the good people of Cecil County in this capacity,” he said.
Fazzino and his team have been tabling at the Cecil County Fair this week and Fazzino said he will continue to visit schools and reach out to the community in the coming months.
“It’s still important to listen and learn so I can be an active member of the school board,” he said.
With the District 2 race decided, attention will turn to the District 1 school board race where Kevin Emmerich is challenging incumbent William Manlove in the November election. Emmerich initially ran on a conservative education slate with Lobos, before Lobos’s primary loss.
The District 1 race is one of only two contested county elections on the November ballot. In the only other contested race, Republican County Council Vice President Alan McCarthy will square off against Democratic Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome for county executive.