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Bennett retains School Board seat by 6 votes
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James Bennett campaigns for reelection to the School Board on Thursday morning in front of the courthouse. - photo by Bethany Porter

There will be two new faces on the Warren County Board of Education after Thursday night’s election.

James Bennett is the lone familiar face returning. Bennett was elected to his third term in winning a thriller over Diane Starkey in the 1st District.

Bennett won by 6 votes. He finished with 834 votes or 50.1%, while Starkey finished with 828 votes or 49.7%.

“Every vote counts,” said Bennett after the final results were announced. “Safety has always been a No. 1 priority for me and we’re going to continue to work with law enforcement to make sure we have the best plan possible.”

In the 5th District, it wasn’t as tight in a three-person race. Chris Cope won the seat with 827 votes or 54.3%. Sue Anderson, the incumbent, finished with 454 votes or 29.8%. James T. Jacobs was third with 241 votes, or 15.8%.

“Figuring out the system and understanding how everything works will be my first priority,” said Cope. “I also want to get more parental involvement and for parents to better understand the educational process.”

In the 3rd District, Larry Judkins is another new face who has previously been on the School Board. Judkins served from 1998 to 2010 and during those 12 years he attained Level 5 status with the Tennessee School Board Academy, the highest level available.

“Security is a top priority for me like it is for most people,” said Judkins. “I’m eager for the kids to get back in the classroom and get some consistency. They’ve missed a lot of time the past two years.”