(Updated at 11:30 p.m.) Tim Beaty, the retired former global strategies director for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was declared the winner in tonight’s special election for the open School Board District A seat. He defeated Gina Baum, an Alexandria City Public Schools parent and former longtime member of the city’s Park and Recreation Commission, and will be sworn into office next week.
Beaty won the election 1,270 votes (56%) to Baum’s 962 votes (43%), and 5.5% of the registered voters in District A (41,335 voters) cast ballots on this rainy Tuesday. District A includes Old Town, Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Arlandria. The results will be certified in the Alexandria Voter Registrar’s office near City Hall on Friday.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work,” Beaty told ALXnow. “I’m very grateful for everyone who endorsed me, from the two other School Board Members in District A, to the teachers union, four City Council Members and Sheriff Sean Casey. The endorsements were a reflection of some good friendships and relationships that I’ve been lucky to be involved with over the last few years.”
Baum called Beaty to concede at around 9:15 p.m.
The District A seat became available in late November when School Board Member Willie Bailey abruptly resigned, prompting the Alexandria Circuit Court to order the special election for Jan. 9. Beaty will serve out the remaining 11 months of Bailey’s term before the next School Board is sworn into office in January 2025.
Baum told ALXnow that having the month of December to campaign for political office was a daunting challenge.
“I think I started off slow, and started to gain traction with the (online candidate) forums when people heard my thoughts about improving schools, academic achievement and restoring teacher’s steps,” she said. “Hopefully that will influence the current budget process. The teachers really got the short end of the stick last year with their steps being frozen. Falls Church City is offering teachers step increases and a 3.5 COLA adjustment for an average 6% increase on top of their higher pay scale. ACPS leadership is not willing to compete at that level or provide that to our educators, who quite frankly deserve it.”
Beaty’s been a substitute teacher at two ACPS elementary schools since his retirement from the Teamsters two years ago, and will have to quit earning an ACPS paycheck in order to be a School Board member. He was previously global strategies director for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and says that he wants to help the school system, get closer to a collective bargaining agreement with ACPS staff. He’s lived in Alexandria for a decade, has six grown children and is married to a Fairfax County Public Schools elementary school principal.
“I would really like to push hard in the direction of getting union recognition and collective bargaining much further along than it is now,” said Beaty. “I would also really like to make myself particularly available to the efforts that the school system is making with the Latino community so that they can take full advantage of the system in educating students.
Beaty’s seat, along with the eight other school board seats, is up for grabs in the Nov. 5 general election. Beaty says he will decide in the next few months whether he wants to run for the same office in November and complete a three-year term.
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