In the race for three Nebo School Board seats, one candidate left his opponent in the dust, one pulled ahead after a close race, one won by a nose, and two tripped at the starting line.
And all three write-in candidates who joined the race to fight the Nebo School District's controversial citizenship policy were defeated.According to complete, but unofficial, returns compiled by the Utah County Election Information System, Bill White won the Precinct 1 seat with 62 percent of the vote. Until the last few districts reported, he was nearly tied by Kaye Westwood, who finished with about 37 percent of the vote.
Write-in candidate Jack Weyland won 0.8 percent of the vote.
White, a 59-year-old Goshen resident and retired Utah Valley Community College instructor, is concerned with programs for first- through fourth-graders. He has said he would like to increase the percentage of district funds spent of the classroom and lower funds to administration.
Incumbent Collin Allan won Precinct 2 with 93.2 percent of the vote. Write-in candidate Joan Jensen got about 7.8 percent.
Allan, a 55-year-old bank manager and Mapleton resident, has served two terms on the board of education. He wants more dignity for the teaching profession and favors investigating a year-round school schedule to better use school buildings and cut spending. He defends the citizenship policy, saying good manners ought to be part of a student's training for life.
Precinct 3 was won by two-term incumbent Richard Johnson, a 45-year-old dentist from Benjamin who got nearly 50 percent of the vote. He barely edged out James Dunn, who took 48.3 percent of the vote. Write-in candidate Jack Weyland won about 1.6 percent.
Johnson hopes to ease overcrowding with year-round school and double sessions. He says overall he is happy with the way schools in the district are running but believes there is always room for improvement.
The biggest shock of the school board election may have been the revolution that never came. Members of a parents group opposing the district's citizenship policy had campaigned extensively for their write-in candidates and a group leader had predicted wins in at least two precincts. All their candidates were defeated.