And we get to do this all over again in November!
Voting went according to form as the endorsed candidates for school board won their respective party's primary election. No candidate was able to take advantage of cross-filing and win in the other party's primary. Here are the results per the Bucks County Board of Elections:
Region 1 (Lower South):
Democratic Primary: Kirsten Garber* (692 votes)
Republican Primary: Scott Congdon* (951 votes)
(*) Did not cross-file
Region 2 (Levittown):
Democratic Primary: Melissa Kitzmiller (458 votes), Mike Morris (260)
Republican Primary: Mike Morris (473 votes), Melissa Kitzmiller (223)
Region 3 (Langhorne):
Democratic Primary: William Spitz (720 votes), Lisa Reiser (707), Irene Boyle (590), Steven Rodos** (379), William Oettinger (303)
Republican Primary: William Oettinger (587 votes), Irene Boyle (576), William Spitz (516), Lisa Reiser (465), Steven Rodos** (215)
(**) Unendorsed candidate
The most interesting race occurred in Region 3 (Langhorne) where unendorsed challenger Steve Rodos received 25% more votes in the Democratic primary than endorsed-GOP candidate William Oettinger. Considering he had no party support, financial or otherwise, Mr. Rodos made a more-than-respectable showing in the election.
Also of note in Region 3 was that Democratic challenger Lisa Reiser tallied 6 more total votes than Republican opponent, Irene Boyle, to finish with the second highest vote total in the region (behind Democratic incumbent William Spitz).
I've received several questions via email/reader comments that I thought might be worth posting here (along with my response):
Q: Are there Board members who are not running for re-election?
A: Yes, Joe Blasch (Region 1) and Frank Koziol (Region 2) are not seeking re-election. Their terms will expire in early December 2009.
Q: Can you explain exactly what is going on when candidates run in both parties' primaries?
A: In Pennsylvania, school board candidates can cross-file in order to run in both party primaries. Each party will endorse the person/people who will officially represent them in the primary, and they usually go to great lengths to notify their members who they should support in the election. When I ran 2 years ago, I was fortunate to win both the Republican and Democratic primary elections even though I was only endorsed by one party.
Q: How long is a school board term? Are the terms of the 9 board members staggered?
A: The term for a school board director is 4 years. Four (4) of the terms expire this year, and five (5) terms will expire in another two years. This pattern is repeated every two years to maintain continuity of the board.
Q: How much is a school board member compensated?
A: School board director is strictly a voluntary position with no compensation.
Q: School board is a thankless job. Why would anyone ever run for the position?
A: I'm still trying to figure that one out :-)