Here’s how close the Beaufort County School Board race was during midterm elections
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This story was updated at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Three of the four Beaufort County Board of Education members who ran for re-election Tuesday were beaten, according to the unofficial election results.
In the county’s most contested school board election in recent years, 20 candidates vied for seven open seats on the 11-member board. No candidates ran uncontested.
With all precincts reporting, here are the unofficial results:
- District 2: Incumbent David Striebinger won the race with 50.77 percent of the vote and challenger Terry Thomas received 48.11 percent.
- District 3: William Smith won with 51.24 percent of the vote. Incumbent Cynthia Gregory-Smalls was second with 31.16 percent. Natasha Robinson was third with 11.87 percent. And, Buryl Garnett Sumpter was fourth with 5.16 percent.
- District 4: Tricia Fidrych won the race with 60.07 percent of the vote and incumbent Joseph Dunkle received 39 percent.
- District 5: Richard Geier won the race with 30.99 percent of the votes and Stew Butler received 29.76 percent. Sarah Stuchell came in third with 22.40 percent, and Ray Johnson took fourth with 15.98 percent.
- District 7: Rachel Wisnefski won the race with 36.31 percent of the vote. Chris Davey and Evva Anderson followed closely behind with 32.73 percent and 30.31 percent of the vote respectively.
- District 8: Cathy Robine won the race with 54.08 percent of the vote. John Eddy came in second with 29.56 percent and Paul Roth was third with 16.05 percent.
- District 10: Melvin Campbell won the race with 50.49 percent of the vote. Peter Kristian received 49.13 percent.
The results are not official until they are certified by Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections, which will occur in the coming days.
The seven newly elected board members will have a full plate during their first year in office, including choosing a new superintendent to be a permanent replacement for Moss, potentially trying to pass another referendum to deal with overcrowding in Bluffton schools and rebuilding trust among community members, parents and the Beaufort County school district.
William Smith, who will take over the District 3 seat in January, said Tuesday night that the results proved that voters were “ready to take a chance on change.”
“We have to start talking to the community and understanding what they want. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on it, we’re going to have to work together,” Smith said.