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Editorial endorsement: Woodside Elementary School District

Edwards and Johnson for school board

There are three names on the ballot for the Woodside Elementary School District board, but in a late development, challenger Joel Hornstein has announced he is suspending his campaign after three board members not up for re-election threw their support behind his opponents. District residents shouldn't be concerned that they are left without good choices. Incumbents Kevin Johnson, elected to the board four years ago, and Silvia Edwards, appointed last spring to replace Rudy Driscoll after he resigned, are two deeply committed board members asking voters for another term, and the Almanac endorses them.

Mr. Hornstein said in a statement over the weekend that he would still be willing to serve if voters decided to support him despite his decision to suspend the campaign. But we believe the district would be better served by the incumbents, and would give Mr. Hornstein a "C" on his report card for the way he conducted his campaign. During a public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, he challenged Mr. Johnson's school board attendance record -- a legitimate topic. The problem wasn't the challenge, but the methodology used to calculate Mr. Johnson's absences, which produced inflated absenteeism figures.

Even more troubling, Mr. Hornstein made erroneous statements about the enrollment of two of Mr. Johnson's children at the school. He told the Almanac that he gleaned the information from a third-party source, and didn't check it out before publicly declaring it as fact.

In his statement last weekend, Mr. Hornstein implicitly criticized the three school board members who endorsed the incumbents, saying that he regrets "that they felt it necessary to close ranks behind Mr. Johnson so as to keep accountability and criticism out of their board meetings." There is no evidence for this conclusion, and Mr. Hornstein should acknowledge the possibility that the board members' endorsements may have had more to do with concerns over his poor judgment as he conducted his campaign than with the fear of "accountability and criticism."

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