Bates and Reimnitz win contested School Board races

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November 19, 2012 // UPDATED 5:59 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas

Minneapolis voters this Election Day gave the School Board’s most veteran member another term in office and narrowly favored a young nonprofit leader over a district parent in another race.

Carla Bates won a second term by a wide margin, taking almost three-quarters of the votes cast in her citywide race against Doug Mann. The results were much, much closer in District 4, where a hand count of ballots in three precincts showed Josh Riemnitz eking out a win over Patty Wycoff.

Two other candidates, Tracine Asberry and Kim Ellison, won seats in uncontested races.

Due to printing errors affecting ballots in three 10th Ward precincts, it wasn’t until the Friday after Election Day that Reimnitz could declare victory. The unofficial tally gave the Teach for America alumnus 12,241 votes (51.06 percent) to Wycoff’s 11,512 votes (48.02 percent) in a district that stretches from downtown to Uptown.

The citywide race saw 89,858 votes (72.93 percent) cast for Bates and 31,318 (25.42 percent) cast for Mann, a licensed practical nurse.

Longtime district observer Eli Kaplan ran a write-in campaign for that citywide seat, but failed to take much of the vote despite an endorsement from School Board Member Rebecca Gagnon late in the race. There were just 2,042 write-in votes cast in that race.

Asberry in Southwest’s District 6 and Ellison in the North Side’s District 2 each took more than 97 percent of the vote. Asberry, a district parent, college instructor and former teacher, is new to the board; Ellison, a community activist and former teacher, was appointed to the board in December 2011 to replace Lydia Lee, who resigned for personal reasons.

This election completed an expansion of the School Board approved by voters in 2008. Then, it was a seven-member board with all members serving at-large. When a new board is sworn-in in January it will have nine members, including three serving at-large and six district representatives.