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Education leads this year’s election

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Education dominated the 2014 election cycle, both locally and on the state level. Locally, more Morgan residents threw their hat in the ring for an education position than any other government position on the ballot. Around the state, three state school board incumbents lost their bid for re-election, one ousted by a candidate placed on the ballot last minute after a U.S. judge ruled the state’s process for selecting school board candidates unconstitutional. It sends a strong message to decision-makers involving education, said Terryl Warner, incumbent in the District 1 state school board race. It also sends a message that every vote counts. It is very interesting. In District 9, Joel Wright, added to the ballot in September, ousted incumbent Heather Groom with 46 percent of the votes. In District 3, incumbent Michael Jensen lost to Linda Hansen, who won with 59 percent of the votes. In District 6, incumbent Dan Griffiths lost to Brittney Cummins, who won with 42 percent. Morgan residents voted for District 1’s State School Board seat, where on election night David Clark came out on top of incumbent Terryl Warner. But with only 57 votes separating Clark and Warner, with at least a thousand votes left to be counted in Cache County, a couple hundred in Box Elder and another 228 in Morgan, the winner of the race is still up in the air until the official canvass Nov. 18. Since Cache County conducted their election entirely by mail this year, with a mandate that mail-in ballots be postmarked by Election Day, Cache County officials said there were as many as 3,000 votes that could still be out in the mail the day after polls officially closed. Warner knows the outcome of the election is going to hinge on Cache County. On the day after Election Day, the Herald Journal called asking Warner about her defeat while KSL called asking about her win. The official voting results showed Clark ahead by 57 votes, while KSL said Warner won 84 of the 88 voting precincts in District 1, predicting the canvass would add just enough votes in each precinct to give Warner the win. I am laughing about it, Warner said. It is really close and fluctuated all night. It is still truly up in the air and will be a long wait, but I still stand a chance. I’m not ready to declare myself the winner, Clark said. It’s way too close for that with the provisional and mail-in ballots that are still outstanding. It’s a surprise in any election when a margin between candidates is this close with over 25,000 total votes cast. However, I’m not surprised it was a close race in general because I feel that Terryl Warner and I are both well qualified candidates. Not only did incumbents on the state school board lose their bids for re-election, many other local school board incumbents around the state lost their races as well, Warner said. If Election Night results hold steady, two of three Cache County School Board incumbents lost their races. Two of four incumbents lost bids for re-election in the Canyons School District. In Washington County, two of four incumbents lost their races as well. And in Morgan County, Election Night results show another local school board incumbent could be defeated. Ted W. Taylor challenged incumbent Bruce Galbraith for the District 2 Morgan School Board seat, winning Election Day with just 87 votes. For Galbraith, the wait until provisional and absentee ballots are finally counted will be overshadowed by funeral arrangements for the unexpected death of his wife, who suddenly passed away at home while he conducted the Nov. 11 school board meeting.

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