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Doris Martin

The unofficial final vote tally in the Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education race in the May 15 primary indicated that incumbent Doris Martin is in the lead with 18.61 percent of the vote.

Nine candidates filed for seats on the Board of Education, including two incumbents. Current board member Nancy Sedlacek did not file for reelection. 

Early numbers also showed Eugene Fiester in last place with 4.1 percent of the vote, meaning he’ll be dropped from the November election. 

The school board currently has six members, though beginning in 2019, a seventh will be added, in part to prevent tie votes. With the three seats up for reelection and the seventh being added, four positions are up for grabs in the school board election in 2018.

The election system for the School Board is structured so that the top four vote-getters will be elected, since there are no wards within the district.

Since the number of candidates is more than double the number of open seats, the election will be featured on the May 15 primary ballot.

The top eight vote-getters in May will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, where the four candidates with the most votes will be elected.

The unofficial final vote count on Tuesday night had Martin leading with 1,801 votes for 18.61 percent, Matt Langley was in second with 1,449 votes and 14.97 percent, Jon Zimmerman was third with 1,449 votes and 14.57 percent, Eric Trusty in fourth with 1,221 votes and 12.61 percent, Monte Lofing in fifth with 1,177 votes and 12.16 percent, Erin Chadwick in sixth with 1,055 votes and 10.9 percent, Eric Book in seventh with 655 votes and 6.77 percent, Andrew Pinney in eighth place with 485 votes and 5.01 percent and Eugene Fiester in last place with 400 votes and 4.13 percent.

Reached for comment, Langley said that, if elected, he wouldn’t be bringing an agenda with him. This is Langley’s first time running for public office of any kind, and he said that communication with the public will be key to the district’s future success.  

“It's a huge privilege, I feel, to be somewhat responsible for the two biggest things in society today,” Langley said. “Education of our kids, making sure that's quality, making sure that's adequate, and taxpayer dollars.”

Martin, a former teacher with the district who, if elected, would be taking on her third term on the school board said that it’s an exciting time for the district. 

“The more we can engage people in the process early on, the more success we'll have,” Martin said.

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