Write-in candidates leading Grand Island school board race

Write-in candidates were leading the Ward A Grand island School board race.
Write-in candidates were leading the Ward A Grand island School board race.(KSNB)
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:53 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 8:42 AM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - If the results of Tuesday’s election hold up, more than half of the Grand Island school board will be replaced.

Two write-in candidates backed by a political action committee critical of Grand Island Public Schools were leading vote-getters in one of the district’s school board races.

Josh Sikes and Amanda Wilson were write-in candidates for the two seats open in the district’s Ward A. Both were backed by Chaperone, a PAC started by former Grand Island mayor Jeremy Jensen, who has criticized the school district for lack of transparency, high teacher turnover and low staff morale.

As of late Tuesday night, the Hall County Election office had Sikes with 2,097 votes, Wilson with 1,983 votes, incumbent Terry Brown with 1,956 votes, incumbent Dan Brosz with 1,730 votes and challenger John Pedrosa with 935 votes.

The top two vote-getters will be elected to the school board in Ward A. If those totals hold up, both Sikes and Wilson would gain seats on the board.

However, Hall County Election Commissioner Tracy Overstreet said there were around 180 provisional votes that remained to be counted, a number large enough that it could change the final vote totals for the top three candidates. Overstreet said those votes would be processed Wednesday. She also said that a recount was possible in the race.

The Ward A results, if they stand up, along with the apparent victory of candidate Hank McFarland in Ward B, means that Chaperone backed candidates could hold three of the nine seats on the GIPS board of education.

In Ward C, incumbent Carlos Barcenas was trailing three challengers, Katherine Mauldin, Eric Garcia-Mendez and Samuel Harris. The top two vote-getters get seats on the school board. If those results hold up, it means that Mauldin and Garcia-Mendez would sit on the board.

The effect of the election could mean that new board members would hold five of the nine seats on the board.