NEW UPDATE: Santa Clara County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1 Results 2012

Incumbent Grace Mah beat off a challenge by Los Altos resident Dave Cortright for the seat on the county education board that has had its share of controversy this year.


With all 138 precincts reporting, Grace Mah of Palo Alto had 36,336 votes or nearly 67 percent of the votes, returning to her seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Education. Challenger Dave Cortright of Los Altos received 18,094 votes, or 33 percent of the vote. 


Incumbent Grace Mah had a comfortable lead over her challenger Dave Cortright for the Santa Clara County Board of Education in Trustee Area 1.

Mah had 32,986 votes to Cortright's 16,385, with 125 precincts counted of the total 138 in the district.

The boundaries of the seven trustee areas were redrawn and adopted last spring, with Trustee Area 1 picking up Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

In the race with Cortright, the issue of charter schools came front and center, reflective of the fraught debate over the Bullis Charter School this year. 


138 of 138 Precincts Reporting (100%) Votes Percentage Santa Clara County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1 Grace Mah*  36,336 67% Dave Cortright 18,094 33% *indicates incumbent

Three responded to a Patch questionnaire about their qualifications. You will find a link to their responses by clicking on each name.

Here is additional information provided by The League of Women Voters on smartvoter.org:

David Cortright

  • Occupation: User Experience Designer
  • Master's in Computer Science from Stanford
  • Bachelor's in Engineering Physics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Father was a public school teacher - high school mathematics
  • Mother was a public school teacher - speech and language therapist
  • Brother is a public school teacher - middle school science
  • Grandmother was a public school teacher - elementary

Top Priorities

  • A higher bar for charter school approval, renewal, and accountability
  • Empowering local communities to make decisions that are best for them
  • Invest in social and emotional learning

Grace Mah

  • Occupation: Incumbent
  • Governing Board Member, Santa Clara County Board of Education, 5 years
  • Community Volunteer, 13 years
  • Engineer and Project Manager, 18 years
  • YMCA Board of Advisors, 6 years
  • 1000 Hearts for 1000 Minds Volunteer
  • BS Caltech; MS EECS UC Berkeley

Top Priorities

  • SJ/SV2020, Eliminating the Achievement Gap in Silicon Valley by 2020
  • Early Childhood Education, Preschool Access and Quality
  • Bilingual Education for K - 12
Los Altos Mom November 06, 2012 at 05:16 PM
This information was not listed above: Taken from the Los Altos Town Crier "Mah sits on the Bullis Charter School Advisory Council. She was appointed to assist and advise the charter school board in planning its future vision."
Rita November 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Correction on the election results. Dave Cortright's final results were: 17,307 votes, 33.29%. Very impressive given money spent of his campaign was a fraction of what was spent on Grace Mah's campaign. I also believe that the attempts of his opponents to smear his name garnered him even more community support. I'm grateful to Mr. Cortright for his service to the community.
L.A. Chung November 08, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Thanks for the reminder to update the figures, @Rita Estrada. I've now updated the figures. Patch will be running a separate chart of all the races throughout Santa Clara County later this week, possibly tomorrow.


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