Updated results for the Dysart Unified School District Governing Board race — as of the night of Nov. 6 — still show two newcomers are among the three leaders.
That update showed a increase of the dvantage for newcomer Jo Grant over incumbent Jay Leonard for the third and final board seat, from 527 votes to 577.
That was enough to make her board election successful.
"I am so honored to be elected to the Dysart governing board. This was a challenging election, but in the end we persevered. I am so grateful for everyone who helped me get 729 signatures, put up signs, pass out flyers, and spread the word through social media and voted for me," Ms. Grant stated in an email Friday night. "I am humbled by the support I received from my family, friends, teachers, educators and parents in the district. "
Ms. Grant had 24,497 votes or 16% of the total, as of that update, while Mr. Leonard had 23,920, or 15% of the total.
Mr. Leonard is the current board president. He was elected in 2016.
"I am happy that Jo Grant is going to be on the board. It was a tough election but I’m happy with the result ," Mr. Leonard stated Friday night.
Election victories for incumbent Christine A.K. Pritchard and newcomer Chrystal L. Chaffin are virtually assured.
Ms. Pritchard held an early lead among six candidates vying for three seats.
“My immediate reaction was that of pure joy and redemption. It was a very volatile election cycle, but despite the negativity, I believe the stakeholders of our district made it a priority to do their own research, and put their confidence in a candidate who has advocated for transparency, accountability, and high academic standards since 2006,” Ms. Pritchard stated in an email. “The success of my campaign can’t be credited to just one person or group. Obviously, I could not have been this successful without the support of my family and friends. However, as a governing board member, we represent the entire Dysart community; not just those with school-aged children. Therefore I made it a point to reach out to those who may have felt disenfranchised from the district, and reminded them that their input is valued and deserves to be represented as well.”
In the updated release of votes early Nov. 6, Ms. Pritchard led with 35,068 votes, or 22%. Her percentage of the vote remained steady from Nov. 5.
She said she met with residents who had concerns about district finances who didn’t feel as if their tax dollars were being spent well. While Ms. Pritchard stated in the interview that she wants to look at ways to combat violence in schools, including possibly adding Student Resource Officers on campus, she said there are more immediate concerns.
“Unfortunately, with COVID still looming, I believe that infection control will continue to be an immediate area of ongoing attention, as we continue to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff,” Ms. Pritchard stated.
Ms. Chaffin also has a secure cushion for a board seat with 32,027 votes, or 20% of the vote. Her percentage of the vote remained the same from Nov. 5 to Nov. 6.
The remainder of the votes are going to Charles R. Wilson (22,368 votes, 14%) and Rhiannon Miett (20,033, 13%).
Board election winners will be sworn in at the Dec. 9 DUSD board meeting. Longtime board member Jennifer Tanner did not seek re-election this year.