- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The contest for two seats on the St. Mary’s County Board of Education was narrowed from six candidates to four Tuesday, and one who didn’t make the cut endorsed one of her opponents and an incumbent for the fall election.
In the at-large school board race, there were 10,590 total votes cast. Incumbent Marilyn Crosby of Lexington Park had 48 percent of the votes followed by challenger James Tomasic of Dameron who had 31.4 percent of the votes for the at-large seat. Crosby and Tomasic will now face off in November’s general election. Lexington Park resident Trisha Post finished with 20.6 percent of the votes and endorsed Tomasic the next day.
“I pulled out all the stops” including writing letters, putting up signs and advertising and at the debates, Crosby said. “I’m going to do more of the same” in November, she said.
At nearly every precinct Crosby finished first, followed closely by Tomasic with Post last. Post beat Tomasic for second place at the Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary and Esperanza Middle polling sites, while Tomasic won first at Ridge Elementary School and tied for first with Crosby at the Ridge firehouse.
“I feel good,” Tomasic said Tuesday night. “What Trisha and I got [in combined votes] was more than Marilyn had.” Tomasic’s and Post’s votes combined were almost 500 more than Crosby’s vote total.
“I think a parent voice is important on the school board, so I would lend my support to Jim Tomasic,” Post said.
Post said she will continue her volunteer work as the president of the St. Mary’s County Council of PTAs and at Great Mills High School, where her children will all attend next year. “I came out pretty well, considering,” Post said, adding that this was her first attempt at public office.
In the District 2 school board race, incumbent Cathy Allen of Hollywood raked in the most votes in the field with 62 percent against two challengers. Jim Davis of Leonardtown, who will also advance to the general election, garnered 26 percent of votes, followed by Hollywood resident David Kelsey who finished with 12 percent and is out of the race. “I’m definitely supportive of Cathy Allen. I think she’s done well for the school system,” Post said.
There were 10,782 votes in the District 2 race. Allen easily won every precinct, followed by Davis and then Kelsey.
In a phone call election night, Davis said that he is looking forward to November’s race. “I’m new at this game, so I worked hard,” Davis said.
Kelsey said the next day that he ran for the board in hopes of getting some of his ideas out to the public. Whether any of those ideas come to fruition, “that remains to be seen,” he said.
“The school board that is coming up is going to have their hands filled with a dozen different things,” Kelsey said. He said he would withhold any endorsements until closer to the general election.
Allen said she was happy for the vote of confidence for her nearly 12 years of time on the school board. She is vying this year for her fourth term. “I have tried to make sure my effort was throughout my time on the board and not just while campaigning,” Allen said Tuesday night while removing campaign signs from polling places. “It is important for me to do the job and do it well.” She said the high number of votes she received “speaks volumes.”
The nonpartisan school board primaries were open to any registered voter in St. Mary’s. Voters could cast a vote for one candidate per race; the top two vote-getters from each race now move on to the November election.
In addition to the at-large and District 2 seats, Mary Washington of Lexington Park, who currently holds the District 4 school board seat, will face Joel Rose of Great Mills in November’s election. The other two members of the school board were elected in 2010, when incumbent Sal Raspa won the District 1 seat by beating Tomasic and newcomer Brooke Matthews was awarded the District 3 seat in an unopposed race. Their seats are up for election in 2014.