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After Loss, a School Board Candidate Offers a Few Thank You's and Lots of Blame

Jamila Singleton Munson blasts Portland's "dominant culture hostility" for her loss.

The day after an election, it's traditional for candidates—win or lose—to thank their supporters.

Portland Public Schools board candidate Jamila Singleton Munson, who is an alum of Grant High School and works for Teach for America, continued that tradition today.

But Munson also took the "thank you" in a slightly new direction, excoriating those who failed to support her.

"Due to the numerous actions taken, I would describe this as macroaggression or a large-scale effort to marginalize my voice as a candidate and dominate access to the hearts and minds of voters," Munson wrote. "This election has uncovered and shed light on the progressive, liberal, xenophobic, intolerant politics of this community."

Her campaign manager, Jake Weigler, did not respond to requests to discuss her email.

Munson originally announced her candidacy without reference to her life's work in the education reform movement, including a stint as a charter school principal. That looked like a tacit acknowledgment of how politically unpopular charter schools and school choice are in Portland. At the time, her campaign said the decision had more to do with whether Portland was familiar with the KIPP network of charter schools as well and Teach for America, where she also worked.

Munson, nonetheless, racked up endorsements from the top elected officials in the city, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, County Chair Deborah Kafoury, City Commissioners Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman, and a majority of the current school board, among many others. She outspent her opponent, $120,000 to $50,000, including in-kind donations.

That opponent, Rita Moore, a longtime parent activist, listed the endorsement of a single elected official on her website, State Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland). Moore also had the endorsement of the Portland Association of Teachers as well as of The Oregonian and WW.

Moore won the race by 16 points, 57 percent to 42 percent, with about 1 percent going to write-in candidates.

Here's Munson's email to supporters:

From: Jamila for Portland Schools