Incumbents dominate school board races

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

Vancouver school board members Dale Rice and Edri Geiger look to be on the way to new four-year terms in an election night that — with one exception — was incumbent-friendly.

• VANCOUVER: With the turnout topping 21,000 votes in Vancouver’s two contested races, Rice outpolled challenger Robert Travis 13,714 to 7,160 to retain the Position 1 spot on Vancouver Public Schools’ board of directors. He received 65 percent of the vote.

Rice, owner of an investment management company, has been on the board since 1991.

Geiger had a much closer challenge in the Position 4 race, outpolling businessman Tom Kemp 10,879 to 10,264 to claim 51.05 percent of the vote. Many more votes will be counted in the days to come.

Geiger, a former teacher and educational consultant, joined the Vancouver school board six years ago.

• BATTLE GROUND: Two recently minted Battle Ground incumbents had comfortable leads in the school district’s two contested races. In the race for Battle Ground’s District 2 spot, Ken Root claimed 54 percent of the vote — 5,503 to 4,579 — against challenger Amy Wheaton. Root, a West Coast regional sales manager for a company that supplies test and measurement devices for microwaves, was appointed to the school board in April.

Mavis Nickels kept her District 2 spot with 62.8 percent of the vote. She had a ballot edge of 6,324 to 3,668 against challenger Chris Webber. Nickels, a former educator, has been a member of the school board since May.

• RIDGEFIELD: In the Ridgefield School District, Joe Vance was the one successful challenger, claiming about 53 percent of the vote to oust 12-year incumbent Wendi Morris. Vance, an attorney with Miller Nash law offices in Portland, outpolled Morris 1,506 to 1,317.

During his successful challenge, Vance said he had no particular complaints about the way Morris was doing her job, but he thought the district needed a new perspective.

Scott Gullickson retained his District 4 spot with 75 percent of the vote. Gullickson had a ballot edge of 2,019 to 654 over challenger Robyn Frasier Morales. Gullickson has been on the board since May 2008.

School board members typically are eligible for compensation of $50 a day per meeting or board-approved event, up to $4,800 a year; some board members don’t claim compensation.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published Nov. 8 at 10:04 p.m., view the comments on the first post.