It was nail-biting time Thursday night as two school board spots came down a handful of votes with one incumbent hanging on to his seat and a newcomer joining the board.
In the Fourth District, newcomer Tanya Shockley Bess nipped Dr. Charles Collier by 19 votes winning by a count of 477 to 458, spurred on to victory by a large showing in the Irving College precinct. The long-time holder of the seat which Bess claimed, Bob Young, has retired from the board which left the race wide open.
Bess, who works at Edward Jones, defeated Collier in what was a back and forth race with both claiming precincts in their district. Collier has been in education over 30 years and has been an educator and principal at three local schools during those years.
“I appreciate the trust and confidence people put in me,” Bess said. “I will do my very best to serve Warren County and listen to the people in my district.”
Joining her on the board will be Bill Zechman who won re-election over Linda F. Jones in a tight race. Zechman has been board member for the second district for several years since leaving the county commission, where he had long been a fixture, to seek the school board post he still holds. Zechman won the race by a scant 13 votes winning 382 to 369, splitting precincts with Jones.
In the sixth-district, Scott Holmes retained his post, defeating former board member David Sneed who had formerly been a school board member from that district.
“I’m just happy that everybody continues to trust and support me in all we’re trying to do with the school system,” Holmes said. “We’re trying to move forward and provide a good education for the children. I’m happy to serve the kids and the teachers. It’s something I find to be very important.”
In other election returns, Beth Martin cruised to victory in her run for Property Assessor, beating the father and son challenges of William and Paul Studer. Martin had won a tough Democratic primary earlier this year, her closest competitor there being Randy England. She will replace long-time Assessor Carolyn Miller for whom she worked. Martin won the race with 4,335 votes. Meanwhile the father won the battle of the Studer family getting 766 votes to 157 for Paul Studer. Danny Clay Martin, who dropped out of the race after deadline got 399 votes.
“I’m super excited to know it’s over and I look forward to serving Warren County,” Martin said.