The Voters Have Spoken
Thousands of Delawareans went to the polls yesterday to elect candidates running for school boards throughout the state – with many incumbents defeated and a few races decided by only a few votes (one by only two!).
After an initial scan of the results (below), it appears that voters recognize that the status quo is untenable and want change within their schools – as evidenced by six incumbents being defeated in Red Clay, Laurel, Appoquinimink, Delmar, Woodbridge, and Milford. However, there is still extremely limited participation in these elections with limited distance between candidates, as evidenced by Gina Backus’s two vote victory in Red Clay.
Below is a summary of the election results, by district:
- Laurel – Patrick Vanderslice defeated incumbent Calvin Musser in a landslide victory (1,071 to 210 votes)
- Appoquinimink – Richard Forsten won the at-large seat with 261 votes, ousting former board president Edward Czerwinski and his other competitors, Kelly M. Wright and Billy R. Combs (who received 223 and 119 votes, respectively).
- Delmar – Farrah Morelli defeated current school board president Joanne Gum (who is also the Delaware School Boards Association President) with 125 votes (compared to 105). This comes on the heels of the defeat of DSBA’s last President, George Evans.
- Red Clay – Faith Newton defeated decade-long president and incumbent Jack Buckley, receiving 1,427 votes compared to 1,132. Faith is a former Assistant Superintendent under reform minded Bob Andrzejewski and received tremendous community support from various leaders, including Yvonne Johnston (PTA President of Charter School of Wilmington) and Bill Manning (former Red Clay Board President).
- Christina – The two incumbents, William Polaski and Gina Backus, defeated challengers Howard Steadman and Joseph O’Leary, Jr.. Gina Backus squeaked out a victory over Mr. O’Leary by only two votes (326 to 324 votes) while Mr. Polaski received 401 votes compared to 318 for Mr. Steadman.
- Brandywine – John Skrobot Jr., the husband of Mt. Pleasant Principal Joyce Skrobot, defeated Cindy Becker 464 votes to 226.
- Seaford – Michael Smith, who will resign in June as principal of Seaford High, defeated his two other competitors, incumbent Pastor Carlton Cannon Sr. and Math Maccoy, with 425 votes (compared to 259 and 48, respectively).
- Indian River – In the only contested race, incumbent Donald Hattier defeated Harold Walters 670 to 411 votes. Incumbent Nina Bunting and new faces Douglas Hudson and Scott Collins ran unopposed.
- Cape Henlopen – current school board president Spencer Brittingham ran unopposed and retained his seat.
- Woodbridge – John Barr defeated incumbent Willis Dewey – receiving 285 to 148 votes.
- Milford – Renate Wiley unseated current board president Debbie O’Neill with 548 votes. Pat Emory will also retain his spot on the board.
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