Utah's premiere school district division is well on its way now, as voters elected new members of the school board in both the east- and west-side Jordan School District.
The new board members in the west-side district are: Rick Bojak, Carmen Freeman, Richard Osborn and Leah Voorhies. Incumbents Randy Brinkerhoff, J. Dale Christensen and Peggy Jo Kennett did not have to run again.
The east-side board will include newcomers Kevin Cromar, Paul McCarty and Monte Millerberg. However, in Precinct 1, only 10 votes separated Millerberg and loser Thomas James Burke, so Burke could ask for a recount.
East-side incumbents Tracy Cowdell, Ellen Wallace, Sherril Taylor and Kim Horiuchi, who is a weekend wire editor for the Deseret News, retained their seats.
Last November, east-side voters opted to ditch the Jordan School District and start a new district. The split the first of its kind in Utah has been tumultuous, with transition teams from both the east and west sides butting heads trying to agree on a plan to split the district's assets.
The district will officially divide July 1, 2009. But before that can happen, the district must have governing boards.
Interest in the school board races exploded on filing day, when more than 100 people put their names in for the seven seats on each board.
At the time, it was unclear whether incumbents would have to run for re-election or not. Soon after, however, a legal opinion by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office said incumbents were free from running another campaign, which sent 31 candidates packing.
Since then, candidates have dropped out for a variety of reasons.
The most heavily contested race was in Precinct 3 in the Jordan East District. Voters had to pick one person from a slate of 16 candidates. Cromar picked up 27 percent of the vote, with the next closest contender with nearly 12 percent.Two other school districts had primary elections. In Granite School District's Precinct 2, Connie Anderson and Patty Sandstrom will now move to the general election in November. And in the Salt Lake School District's Precinct 7, Kristi Swett will meet Hilary Pembroke in the November election.
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