Ballard, Mish keep seats on school board They turn back challengers by a 2-to-1 margin

Losers ran as slate

Bowen and Brunst accused panel of wasteful spending

November 06, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Carroll Board of Education incumbents Ann M. Ballard and Joseph D. Mish Jr. turned back two conservative challengers last night by a margin of nearly 2-to-1, despite an aggressive and well-funded opposition campaign.

Candidates William M. Bowen Jr. and Jerry L. Brunst had accused the school board of wasting a generously funded budget on high administrative salaries and spending.

Although the election is nonpartisan, Bowen and Brunst ran as a slate. Turnout was 68 percent.

Results were consistent all evening as precincts reported:

Ballard, 30,298 votes (35 percent).

Mish, 26,903 (31 percent).

Bowen, 15,821 (18 percent).

Brunst, 14,148 (16 percent).

"The voters have said they believe in quality education in Carroll County," Ballard said last night from her home. "They know I care about the future of our children. They got out and showed their support for what I believe in."

Mish said he was confident he and Ballard would win, and that the results indicate voters believe public schools are successful.

"I've had people tell me that about three or four weeks ago, there was a perceptible shift in public opinion," Mish said.

Brunst declined to comment last night as results came in heavily favoring the incumbents.

"I refuse to talk to the liberal Baltimore Sun," he said as he left a party held by Carroll Republicans last night.

"The people deserve exactly what they get in this election," Bowen said. "Welcome to the next tax increase. The taxpayers have been betrayed in Carroll County."

In their respective campaigns, Mish and Ballard disputed Bowen and Brunst's claims by touting Carroll schools' statewide standing in the top three for performance and bottom third for spending.

Bowen and Brunst had discounted those statewide standings, questioning the veracity of the numbers Carroll administrators supplied the state and the quality of public education in Maryland.

"We're the best failure of all the other failures," Bowen often said.

But Ballard and Mish made no apologies for Carroll schools, nor for the salaries. Employees earn every penny, Ballard said, "From the superintendent on down to the bus drivers."

Mish said that to get good administrators and teachers, the schools have to pay competitive salaries.

Mish and Ballard were strong incumbents to start, each drawing mainstream support as well as specific constituencies. Mish, 56, is a retired Carroll social studies teacher with many former students and colleagues living around the county. He is an active evangelical Christian and a socially conservative voice on the board.

Ballard, 52, is a Mount Airy homemaker and mother of two. Well-known throughout South Carroll, she is the board member known for getting the most calls from parents.

.

Carroll County school board

Top two candidates win.

* denotes incumbent.

Ann M. Ballard* ... ....30,298 ... 35%

Joseph D. Mish Jr.* ... 26,903 ... 31%

William M. Bowen Jr. ...15,821 ... 18%

Jerry L. Brunst ... ....14,148 ... 16%

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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