Experienced members lead in BOE election

November 05, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Two incumbents up for re-election in the Washington County Board of Education race held on to their seats in Tuesday's general election, according to results from 43 of 50 precincts.

Eight candidates were running for four open seats.

Donna Brightman and Wayne D. Ridenour were joined by newcomer Justin M. Hartings and former board member W. Edward Forrest, who also were apparent winners as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Ridenour was the top vote-getter with 21,213 votes, according to incomplete and unofficial results. Forrest received the second-highest tally with 18,299 votes.

Brightman received 18,143 votes and Hartings had 17,395, according to incomplete and unofficial results. Forrest served on the School Board for seven years before resigning in 2007. Brightman was appointed to fill his seat.


Election officials said Tuesday that 4,463 absentee ballots had been issued, and 3,750 had been returned. Those ballots that have come in will be counted Thursday, election officials said. The deadline for receipt of absentee ballots is Nov. 14, and a second count of absentee ballots will be held that day.

Ridenour, who was elected to the school board for the first time in 2004, said he would wait until official results were available, but said he was hopeful he would be able to continue in his role.

"I just am happy to have an opportunity to continue on," Ridenour said when reached by phone Tuesday night.

Brightman said that she was pleased with the preliminary outcome, but said it was uncertain who the top four finishers would be.

Hartings, who was running for his first elected office, appeared to be in fourth-place late Tuesday, and said whether or not he ends up there after all the votes are counted, he was grateful for the support he received.

"I'm humbled by the support from so many people throughout the county," said Hartings, a Keedysville resident. "I'm proud of the work that so many have done on my behalf. I'm just grateful."

Russell F. Williams II and Jacqueline B. Fischer lost their bids Tuesday to reclaim the school board seats they lost in their 2006 re-election bids. Both served on the school board for one four-year term from 2002-06 until losing in the 2006 election.

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