3 incumbents back, 1 newcomer named to A.L. school board

Published 12:31 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Three of four incumbents on the Albert Lea school board won their seats back Tuesday.

Incumbents Linda Laurie and Bill Leland both won re-election, along with newcomer Julie Johnson, for the three available four-year seats. Jeshua Erickson ran unopposed for a two-year seat in a special election and won with 99 percent of the vote.

The six candidates for Albert Lea school board.

Two other candidates, Jenny Edwin and incumbent Kim Nelson, did not receive enough votes to be on the school board. Edwin received almost 17 percent of votes, and Nelson received about 18 percent of votes.

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Leland received the most votes at more than 25 percent, with Johnson following with almost 20 percent of votes. Laurie had 19.46 percent of votes.

“I just want to say I’m very happy and excited to work with everyone,” Johnson said. “I look forward to serving all the kids and families in our district.”

Erickson said he’s thankful for the opportunity to serve two more years on the school board and said he’s looking forward to seeing the results of recent changes the board has made in the district.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity to see the work through for the district that’s been going on,” Erickson said.

Messages were left with both Laurie and Leland after final votes were tallied. Nelson, who was appointed to the board about a year ago, said she wishes the new board luck and that she learned a lot while on the board the past year.

“The board that will be in place will continue on, and they’re just really great people and I learned a lot from them,” Nelson said. “I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to sit as long as I did.”

Nelson said she’s not sure if she’ll run again for school board but that she is interested in public office, whether it’s a school board or another office. Edwin also said she’s not sure if she would run again.

“I think it was really nice that it was a really close race for us all,” Edwin said. “I really appreciate the community support and people taking their time to vote for me.”

Edwin also said that because the results were so close that it shows voters were looking for change on the school board.

“I wish everybody luck and hope they’ll do a great job for our district,” Edwin said.

A special school board meeting was held at 7 a.m. today to canvass the election results. The meeting was at the board room at Brookside Education Center.


Other area school boards

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva school board brought back three incumbents, Lori Routh, Michele Moxon and Mike Moen. Other candidates Peggy Radjenovich and Jay Crabtree were not elected.

The United South Central school board brought back incumbents Kathy Krebsbach and Steve Navara. Mike Schrader was also elected. Molly Loegering received more than 20 percent of votes, which was not enough for election to the board.

The Glenville-Emmons school board found incumbents Susie Miller and Lisa Hajek elected. Lindy Fredrickson was also elected with almost 25 percent of votes. Lonny Hagen lost with about 20 percent of votes.

The Alden-Conger school board returns incumbents Kris Neel and Ryan Merkouris, as well as Ron Redman who had more than 36 percent of votes. The three candidates were running for three available seats.