An 11-vote difference between the second- and third-place candidates in Granite School District's Precinct 3 may lead to a recount. Otherwise, the election in the district was low-key.
Roy R. Chapman garnered 611 votes in Precinct 3, while Kay S. Cherrington had 600. But both of them were well behind Denis R. Morrill, who had 941. Cherrington said she probably will ask for a recount on the close vote to choose a candidate to oppose Morrill in the general election. With 250 votes, Douglas S. Stacey was eliminated from the race.
In Precinct 1, incumbent Lynn D. Davidson had a commanding lead over second-place Charles C. Larsen, who tallied 443 votes. Christopher J. Wright, with 326 votes and Roy Richards Silver, 323, are now out of the race for school board seats.
The school board race now will center on financing, reforms and local control issues, the candidates agreed.
Davidson said he plans to work with parents in the district to get the message across about how important the school system is and "to let them know I understand that the schools belong to the people. As the board, we're willing to run the schools in the way the people would like to have them run."
He sees the major challenge as handling growth - which continues to add 2,000 to 3,000 children to Granite rolls each year - fostering cooperation among Salt Lake County districts and making sure control remains at the local level.
Larsen believes Tuesday's small voter turnout bodes well for his ability to compete effectively with Davidson. The general election will create a closer race, he said.
He thinks education must be restructured and that Granite should look to effective systems in other parts of the country to find effective ways to reform the system. He would like to look more closely at voucher systems, open enrollment and other innovations. "We need to emphasize the basics," he said.
Morrill said he was surprised at the magnitude of his win, especially because "nobody voted."
He views the gathering and spending of school funds as the most pressing need for the district. "There will come a point at which there is not any more money. If the tax initiatives pass, that point will come a lot sooner than people had thought. If they pass, they definitely be the greatest challenge."
Chapman, faced with the possibility of a recount, said he will proceed on the assumption that he is the candidate "until there is a count that shows a difference." He wants to help citizens in the district realize that the board is a tool of parents to ensure the best possible education for their children.
"Funding and taxes are going to be big issues. We must ensure that what money the district has goes where it will create the best educational advantages."