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South Butler school board members win voters' support

Chuck Biedka
| Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Four incumbents apparently won re-election handily on Tuesday to new terms on the school board, while the husband of a teacher finished a distant fifth.

Returning the four to office likely translates into voter support for the school board in its ongoing contract wrangling with the teachers union.

According to complete, but unofficial, precinct tallies, Nelda Burd, 55 of Clinton Township, an appointee who was in her first election led all candidates with 2,858 votes, or about 25 percent of the vote.

That was a margin of more than 400 votes over the next finishing candidate.

Board president James Jones, 60, of Penn Township, posted 2,425 votes, about 22 percent of the tally.

He closely was followed by Richard Sefton, 54, of Clinton, with for 2,341 votes — a little more than 21 percent.

Just 20 votes separated Sefton from the total of Dale Fennell, 40, of Penn Township, but that was enough to secure him re-election.

Newcomer Michael Archer, 36, of Winfield, received 1,101 votes, or about 9 percent of votes cast.

Archer is the husband of a South Butler County teacher. He said previously that he could have been a voice of cooperation in trying to settle the contract.

Archer ran only as a Democrat and Jones ran only under the Republican banner. All of the others cross-filed.

Tuesday night's 54 write-in votes won't be enough to propel Archer to victory but they could change the third and four finish for the four seats.

Burd is a retired manager. In 2008, she was appointed to an unexpired seat on the school board.

Jones, who is a retired chemist, has been on the school board since 1995.

Sefton is completing his fifth term on the board.

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