Four advance in citywide School Board race

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August 13, 2014
By: Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Gagnon, Altamirano and Samuels emerge from primary looking the strongest; Jourdain rounds-out top four

The Aug. 12 primary narrowed the field of citywide School Board candidates from seven to the four who now advance to the general election in November: Rebecca Gagnon, Don Samuels, Iris Altamirano and Ira Jourdain.

There were 38,418 votes cast in the race for two open citywide seats and Gagnon, the incumbent, was the top vote-getter with 11,888 (30.94 percent). Former City Council Member Don Samuels finished second with 10,562 votes (27.49 percent).

Rounding out the top four were political newcomers Iris Altamirano with 8,661 votes (22.54 percent) and Ira Jourdain with 2,249 votes (5.85 percent). Altamirano and Gagnon were the DFL endorsees in a race where that often makes all the difference.

But the results indicate a three-way contest is brewing between Gagnon, Samuels and Altamirano, who finished far ahead of the rest of the pack.

Doug Mann, who has made multiple runs for a School Board seat but never won, finished just out of the top four with 2,199 votes (5.72 percent). That put Mann only 50 votes behind Jourdain, and in an online post shortly after midnight Wednesday morning raised the possibility of a recount.

Soren Christian Sorensen collected 1,727 votes (4.5 percent) and Andrew Minck won 1,132 votes (2.95 percent). Minck suspended his campaign a little more than a week before the primary election.