The 2023 school board election has officially come to a close. After a week of waiting for mail-in ballots to be counted, we can confidently state wins and losses across Oregon. Final numbers may still shift with ballot chasing and verification happening, but we do not expect results to change.
We often get questions like, “School board members can’t vote on abortion! Why are you getting involved?” Over the past few years, school-based health centers have become more prevalent in districts all across Oregon–including both urban and rural areas. These “health centers” are able to refer minors for abortion, drive them to an abortion provider, and potentially even prescribe the abortion pill–all without parental knowledge.
School-based health centers and Planned Parenthood’s desire to be the number one provider of sex education make it clear that the abortion industry is aggressively seeking influence on and access to our children. Electing committed pro-life school board members is vital to protecting students, parents, and the unborn from the harmful effects of abortion.
This year, Oregon Right to Life PAC endorsed a record 73 school board candidates in 51 districts across Oregon. Through a thorough vetting process, these candidates demonstrated their pro-life stance and commitment to protecting students and parents in their communities. Of these endorsed candidates, 35 won their races. Here are our highlights:
- Full pro-life slates were elected to the Grants Pass and Crook County School Boards.
- Sean Taylor won a seat on the Greater Albany Public School Board.
- In Salem-Keizer, the state’s second largest school district, two of the three pro-life candidates secured positions on the board.
- David Ligatich won his race in the Gresham-Barlow School District.
- Though Ginger Kralicek lost her race, Carol Yardley and Michelle Roberts successfully gained spots on the North Bend School Board.
- Brian Lacouture and Josh Haberly will join other conservative voices in the Siuslaw district which is in Lane County.
- The election of Santiago Puente flipped the school board in the Woodburn School District.
We’ve emphasized that due to their historically low turnout, school board elections often come down to just a few votes. Of all registered voters statewide, 27% returned ballots. Ten of these races were decided by 5% or less of the vote. Thank you for your voice, and thank you for your vote. Because of your support, we have 35 more pro-life advocates to speak up for students, parents, and the unborn across Oregon.