Unofficial results said Karen Keys-Gamarra secured a position on the 12 seat School Board of Fairfax County Public Schools.
“We need to embrace our diversity; it is an asset. We can learn so much from people from other cultures. We have more than 100 cultures represented in our schools,” said Keys-Gamarra at a recent debate.
County officials said total voter turnout was at around 10 percent.
This election’s turnout was marginally higher than previous special elections, but officials still want to see an increase in voter participation.
“Fifty-two percent of property taxes go to the schools. So, whether you’ve got a child in the school system or not, your tax dollars go to the school system. Over half of it is going to be determined how it gets spent by a school board, and this new school board member will be one of the 12 members on that board,” said Stephen Hunt, Chairman, Fairfax County Electoral Board
“The school board is in charge of setting policy for the Fairfax County Public School systems, so they’ll make sure that the teachers are supplied with the appropriate budget and operational means to make sure that they can facilitate their mission of educating the students of Fairfax County,” said Cameron Sasnett, General Registrar of Fairfax County.
Although school board positions are non-partisan, the Fairfax County Democratic Committee endorsed Keys-Gamarra.
The special election comes after former Representative Jeanette Hough resigned on May 31 to move with her family out of the country.
Four candidates campaigned for the position.
Voting officials will certify the winner on Wednesday.
Once the results are certified, Keys-Gamarra will take office immediately.