There has been a change in results. Over in Hartland, Nora Kessel took 2nd at the last minute with the few precincts remaining. The results there are as follows.
1032 - Cynthia Sinelli
669 - Nora Kessel
620 - Dennis Tierney
545 - Write ins (Lynn Burill)
197 - Cari Sinke
The main issue here was privatization of the janitors and health care costs. We got one of the two here as we (Taxpayers Group) supported Kessel and Tierney.
Laura Burwell - 1148
Marcia Jablonski - 948
Richard Gass - 380
Write-in - 11
Little surprise. Burwell had the MEA's support and at the Taxpayers Group did not get involved in this race. Jablonski wasn't supported by either the MEA or the taxpayers' group. Trying to have things both ways tends to lead to defeat.
Howell's results are the same.
Wendy Day - 2506
Phillip Westmoreland - 2147
Valerie Webster - 2058
John Arthur - 1768
Jim Pratt - 1658
Write In (Dennis McGuire mostly) - 103
The numbers were fairly close between 2nd and 5th. Wendy had almost as much of a lead over Westmoreland, and Westmoreland had over John Arthur.
I think the conservatives split the vote here among Wendy Day, John Arthur, and Jim Pratt. McGuire as a write in didn't get much support, so there wasn't a three-way split among the others. Most Westmoreland votes voted for Webster as well, with Wendy's voters splitting between Pratt and Arthur. If John or Jim took 500 votes from the other, we would have finished 1-2. However, it didn't happen.
I was glad to see Wendy win. She'll be a voice of fiscal responsibility there. The LOVE Group will have a voice on the board as well. Maybe the flap over the gay pride flag and Christian flag (I'm calling them exactly what they are, not the PC terms) there will start to die down. As far as I'm concerned, all flags need to be allowed, or none outside of the US flag should be allowed. No picking and choosing. The biggest issue facing Howell however is the fiscal issues and current spending problems that left the school with little operating money to open Parker High School. She'll do more than just pass the buck, whine, and blame the state like the outgoing treasurer did. Our schools sign the contracts.
As for Westmoreland, I was surprised that he beat Webster. I did not see any signs from him unlike Webster. That leads me to believe that he won mostly based on his contacts with football programs in a "vote for coach" campaign. Youth football is huge in this county, and gives Westmoreland a strong base to start with outside of the MEA endorsement which Webster also received. I thought Westmoreland would finish 4th, behind Webster. I was dead wrong in that prediction.
Webster did not surprise me and finished third. I expected her to finish 2nd or third. I just didn't expect her to finish behind Westmoreland.
John Arthur and Jim Pratt were 4th and 5th. I figured one of these two would catch on and finish 2nd or 3rd, with the other finished 5th, but with 900-1000 votes out of 2nd place, not 500 votes for each of them. Comparing Wendy's totals to John and Jim's, it suggests to me says that conservatives split their votes between these two individuals. If this was two on two instead of three on two, we would have won. However, we only had a partial win. That happens. That's politics.
McGuire finished last which was expected as he's a write-in candidate with little name recognition.
Overall, we didn't do bad, but could have done better. I think endorsements do matter, but the most important thing is how candidates run their own campaign. Wendy ran one of the best campaigns I've seen in a long time, and her win was no surprise. I saw many people from the LOVE PAC and Taxpayers' Group both working the polls all day.
Good luck to both Wendy Day and Phil Westmoreland on their tenure on the board. I hope they do a good job there running the education of our kids and spending our money wisely.