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Voters Retain Three Columbus School Board Incumbents

Nov 8, 2017

All three incumbents retained their seats on the Columbus Board of Education in Tuesday's election that pitted Democrats against Democrats. 

Alison Holm reports.

The results of the six-way school board race were clear early in the evening, but were closer than might be expected in a low-turnout election. Ramona Reyes won her third term on the board with 20.2 percent of the vote. Board vice president Michael Cole garnered 19.8 percent of the vote for his second term. And Dominic Paretti retained his seat with 18.4 percent of the vote. Paretti was less than five thousand votes ahead of challenger Erin Upchurch of the "Yes We Can" slate of insurgents - whom he outspent five-to-one. Upchurch picked up 15.5 percent of the vote, while the other members of the slate - Amy Harkins and Abby Vaile - had 13.9 and 12.1 percent respectively. Reyes, Cole and Paretti return to a board that is facing significant challenges. State cuts in education funding are forcing the district to consider cuts in programs and personnel. In September, the teachers union voted no confidence in board leadership. And the district is still searching for a replacement for superintendent Dan Good, who is stepping down at the end of the year.