Allen County school board elections finish Tuesday with tight races
One Allen County school board race may be headed for a recount, following Tuesday’s election.
The election to Southwest Allen County Schools’ two available Board-At-Large seats came down to the wire for two candidates, Stephanie Veit and Doug Copley, the incumbent. Veit has been declared the winner by a margin of only 3 votes, making the race ripe for a recount.
Andy Downs, emeritus president of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, said there’s nothing in Indiana law that can trigger an automatic recount, but candidates can request one themselves.
“At three votes, a recount is absolutely a sensible thing for someone to do," he said.
The Allen County Board of Elections said no recount has been filed as of Thursday afternoon. Candidates have until noon on November 22 to file.
Kim Moppert, on the other hand, sits comfortably in her victory for one of the open seats. Moppert leads the other candidates by more than 1,000 votes.
In Northwest Allen County, the incumbent board members held on to their seats, but it wasn’t an overwhelming victory for either of them.
Kristi Schlatter retained the district 3 seat with 54 percent of the vote, up against Fort Wayne Police Department homicide detective Benjamin Macdonald.
For the two At-Large seats, the race was even closer. Incumbent Liz Hathaway received 24 percent of the vote – split between six candidates for two seats. Hathaway received less than 1,000 more votes than school board newcomer Darren Vogt.
Vogt served on Allen county council for 21 years, with 6 as president, and previously unsuccessfully ran for state senate in 2014.
Downs said name recognition can work in candidates favor in these races.
“And you might be able to make the argument that between Hathaway and Vogt, you have the two known commodities winning," he said.
In East Allen County, incumbents Tim Hines and Beth Wood retained their seats, with Beth Wood running unopposed.
Substitute teacher Pamela Green Dukes won the district 3 seat against two other candidates with 43 percent of the vote.
In Fort Wayne Community Schools, all four incumbents – Anne Duff, Maria Norman, Rohli Booker and Julie Hollingsworth – retained their seats.