Contested School Board Seats on the Rise

Four years ago, one-third of school board races in 19 Virginia localities went uncontested. This year, following controversies over COVID shutdowns and parental rights, the overall share of contested seats is up across the same localities.

Note: Data from Virginia Department of Elections and VPAP research.

Methodology: VPAP selected these 19 localities because they were the only localities that held school board elections in both 2018 and 2022. Special elections were excluded. One other factor that changed was the time of year some cities held elections. All of the 2022 elections are set for November, according to a new state law. In 2018, the following localities held school board elections in May: Bristol, Chesapeake, Danville, Fairfax, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Radford, Staunton, and Waynesboro. VPAP found no data to suggest November 2022 elections were more likely to be contested than those held in May 2018.

Oct. 13, 2022