School candidates move to round two
Despite icy roads, snow and the cold, Eudora voters went to the polls Tuesday to send six of the seven candidates for U.S.D 491 School Board on to the April general election.
When the votes were all counted, incumbents Carlie Abel, Bob Rice and Marion Johnson advanced to the general election. New candidates in the race, Brenda Clark, Tracy Bowling and James Harris also passed the primary test.
Richard Palmer failed to advance to the April election. U.S.D. 491 includes voters from Eudora, as well as a few from Johnson and Leavenworth counties.
Abel led the race with 168 votes. He said he's not planning to campaign much for the next election, hoping instead that people support him for what he stands for. Specifically, he said, he would like to see the board put more of an emphasis on education and less on new buildings and bond issues.
"We are running for a board of education, not a board of facilities," Abel said.
Bob Rice finished just under Abel with 165 votes. Rice said the support he received represented a vote of confidence from the people. Like Abel, Rice plans to keep campaigning to a minimum between now and the general election.
"That's just not me," Rice said. "I'm going to focus on the issues and let it fall how it falls."
Board president Johnson received 162 votes. He said he would initiate door-to-door campaigning to prepare for April.
Johnson said he was pleased with his position in the primary adding that the results were better than he expected.
"It's always a nervous moment when the votes start coming in," he said. "But, I did run to win and hopefully I'll get stay on the board."
Former board member Clark received 144 votes and said she felt good about voter support and was pleased with the turnout.
"Knowing who all was running, I knew it was going to be a close race," she said. "I'd just like a chance to get back on the board and give something back to the community."
Newcomer Bowling, who received 143 votes, said he was surprised at Tuesday's results.
"I was amazed how close it was," he said. "I think it's just the beginning. I'll have to go from here and start beating the bushes."
Harris, a former district custodian, received 96 votes. He attributed his support to those who know him and his desire to serve on the board.
"A lot of people know me and if they like me, they'll vote for me," Harris said. "If they don't, they won't. We'll see what happens."
Though his 62 votes didn't get him in the top six or a bid for the general election, Palmer said he was happy for the support. Palmer said he thought there should have been more for the public to meet candidates.
"I really wish there were a couple of forums where we could have spoken in front of people and answered questions," he said.
Much like the recent Presidential election, Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes said results given Tuesday evening were incorrect, but have been rectified. The totals will be made official Friday.
"The advanced totals were accumulated twice, but it will not change the outcome of any race."