The unofficial results for Election Day are in, and the Washington County Board of Education is most likely welcoming in two new members.
“I think that is what the people want,” said Pieter Bickford, winner of the Board of Education race. “We saw that around the country [that] people want something new. “
Tuesday’s results show county native Bickford is set to serve his first term with long-time educator Stan Stouffer, who came in fourth place in the voting.
“I’m sure the absentee ballots will tighten-up the race a little, but I’m hopeful we will maintain our place in the rankings and be able to take our seat on the Board of Education,” said Stouffer.
Newcomer Linda Murray is 875 votes behind Stouffer, but the biggest surprise was the current President of the board, Donna Brightman, who is in sixth place and will likely not be on the board.
“In my perspective, I think it was a loss,” said Wayne Ridenour, member of the Board of Education. “I think Donna was always very prepared. She worked very hard and took the job incredibly seriously. Plus, this year had she been reelected, she would have been the President of the Maryland Associations of Boards of Education, and that is a loss too.”
Incumbents Ridenour and Melissa Williams are set to return, and they both said they are ready to collaborate coming into the new year.
“I envision an inclusive, collaborative and more civil board,” said Melissa Williams, member of the Washington County Board of Education.
“We will just see how things work, and we will try to make sure we do the right thing for kids. That is always the bottom line,” said Ridenour.
“We have got to restore transparency and integrity to this board. [We need to] get it off the tabloid pages, as I call it. It shouldn’t be there,” said Stouffer .
More than 2,000 absentee ballots need to be counted.
The new board is expected to be sworn in December.
Election officials said the election will be officially certified on Nov. 18.