It’s official—incumbent Mason City Schools Board members Kevin Wise and Courtney Allen will serve on the board for another four years.
As of this month, the Warren County Board of Elections has issued not one, but two recounts to decide which two candidates will be elected to the Mason City Schools Board of Education to represent the district over the next four years.
Since the primary provisional count revealed a margin of less than .5 percent between incumbent President Courtney Allen and newcomer Erin Schmidt, a mandatory recount took place on November 24. With a sudden turn of events, Allen secured the second spot, but the difference between Schmidt and Allen still amounted to less than .5 percent. Consequently, on Thursday, December 3, a second recount took place, rendering the votes 4,543 to 4,527 in favor of Allen.
Incumbent Kevin Wise, who came out on top during the first provisional count, retained the favor of the majority of voters with 6,776 out of 15,846 votes in the second recount.
Schmidt, who won the first provisional count, said that running against an incumbent can be difficult but is proud of her dedication and the support she received.
“Running against an incumbent is an uphill battle, especially since we have a school board that stays relatively quiet,” Schmidt said. “In cases where a board member is controversial or ineffective, a campaign against that individual may be easier. That was not the case in this election. Although I wish the outcome had been different, I am proud of the campaign I ran and of the support I received.”
Allen said that the board needs to focus on supporting work within the district that makes current mandates beneficial to educators.
“We all recognize that there is change necessary in the roles that the state and federal governments play in education today,” Allen said. “As a school board, I believe we need to push back on these mandates and help our legislators better understand how their decisions are affecting our district. Concurrently, we should support work within the district that takes these mandates and turns them into something of value for our educators.”
Schmidt’s short term plans include continued support for Mason City Schools and its board. In the long run, she said she is considering running again.
“My plans for the future are to continue to support Mason City Schools,” Schmidt said. “ I will support the current board and Dr. Kist-Kline in any way I am able. The next school board election will be held in two years, when three seats will be up for vote. I am considering another attempt in 2017, but only time will tell.”