Amy Speers, ineligible Adams 12 school board candidate, wins election: What now?

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Amy Speers.
What happens when an ineligible candidate wins an election with two-thirds of the vote?

That's the situation Amy Speers finds herself in. A candidate for the Adams 12 Five Star school board, Speers was declared ineligible a week before election day when district officials realized she didn't live in the area she was seeking to represent -- an honest mistake on Speers's part. But she refused to withdraw from the race, which led to intervention by state officials and, soon thereafter, a lawsuit.

On November 18, a judge ruled that the state intervention, which resulted in Speers's votes not being counted, was wrong. The judge ordered Adams and Broomfield counties, which comprise the Adams 12 Five Star school district, to tally Speers' votes even though she can't take office.

Both counties have now done that, though Broomfield's results won't be certified until Friday. Still, the tallies show that Speers won the most votes. In Adams County, she received 64 percent of the total and in Broomfield County, she won 62 percent. Her opponent, incumbent Rico Figueroa, garnered 36 percent of the vote in Adams County and 38 percent in Broomfield County. But in essence, Speers' victory means that nobody won -- and the school board will be tasked with appointing someone to fill the seat.

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Confused? Let's start at the beginning.

Speers is a public health nurse who works with special needs children through the Tri-County Health Department. She has one son, Alec, who graduated from Thornton High School and is now a sophomore at the University of Northern Colorado. Speers has always been an involved parent, and she was an active supporter of the music and theater programs her son participated in while he attended Adams 12 schools. Some of his friends still call her "Mama Speers," she says.

In late 2011, a seat on the five-person Adams 12 school board came up for grabs when then-board member Heidi Williams was elected mayor of Thornton. Williams had represented District 4, an L-shaped area of more than 40,000 residents that today encompasses chunks of Northglenn and Thornton. Because Williams was in the middle of her term, it fell to the school board to appoint someone to replace her. The board put out a call for candidates -- and Speers was among those who answered. She didn't like that the school district had cut some full-time art, music and physical education teachers.

"I thought it was important to have those things in the schools," Speers says.

But the board members didn't choose her. Instead, they appointed Rico Figueroa, the vice president of the Center for Relationship Education, which teaches abstinence education to teenagers and hosts relationship workshops for couples.

Continue for more on the Adams 12 school board election.


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