School board incumbent disqualified from seeking re-election

Longtime San Francisco school board commissioner Emily Murase has announced that she has been disqualified from seeking reelection on the November ballot.

With eight years on the school board, Murase announced last year that she would be running for what would have been her third term. Elected as commissioner in 2010, Murase first ran for the school board in 2008 but lost.

But in a statement posted to her campaign website on Friday, Murase said that her filing has been disqualified by the Department of Elections. She blamed an error by department staff.

“I had relied on mistaken deadline information I received from Elections Department staff,” said Murase. “I have decided not to take the case to court because, as a department head for the City and County of San Francisco for my day job, I do not wish to sue another department. I have exhausted all other avenues to challenge my disqualification.”

The announcement means the school board now has three open seats with no incumbents in play in the November election.

Along with current board President Hydra Mendoza McDonnell, who is not running for another term, and Commissioner Shamann Walton, who is running in the District 10 race for supervisor, Murase will now be one of three incumbent commissioners leaving the board as of December 31.

Out of more than two dozen candidates who registered to run in the November 6 election, 19 were qualified by the department of election’s Wednesday deadline.

Murase, who served as president of the board in 2015, said in her statement that she is “devastated” by the disqualification but that she is proud of her record.

She listed creating opportunity for all students to access electives, securing some $3 million in funds for students to study world languages and the arts, common planning time for educators, and championing the proposed SFUSD Arts Center at 135 Van Ness Ave. among her accomplishments.

In 2015, Murase said that she was a co-author of the “landmark African American Achievement Leadership Initiative board resolution, and connected the underfunded African American Honor Roll Celebration with corporate sponsors.”

More recently, Murase said that she worked with her board colleagues, labor partners and San Francisco voters to “deliver a 25 percent salary increase to our hard-working educators.”

Murase said that she will devote the time she spent “on school board business” to her family, but plans to run for reelection in 2020.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

Laura Waxmann
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Laura Waxmann

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