3 school board candidates voice cautious optimism

Election 2008

November 06, 2008|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,john-john.williams@baltsun.com

With more than 13,000 absentee ballots to be counted, the top vote-getters in the race for the Howard County school board expressed cautious optimism yesterday at the election results but refrained from claiming victory.

Current board members Janet Siddiqui and Ellen Flynn Giles and challenger Allen Dyer led the field of six candidates vying for three open seats on the board in Tuesday's election. Diana Butler was in fourth place, just slightly more than 1,000 votes behind Dyer.

The counting of the absentee ballots will begin today and final results are expected to be available Nov. 14, said Betty Nordaas, the county's elections administrator.

In the meantime, the leading candidates said they are viewing the results in tentative terms.

"I think I'm positioned pretty well," said Giles, the board's vice chairman. "Generally, absentees align with the [precinct votes.] I'm going to wait and see. I'm not going to throw a party."

Dyer, an attorney from Ellicott City who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2006, was in third place after the votes from all 100 of the county's precincts were tallied Tuesday.

"I'm not claiming victory yet," Dyer said yesterday. "There are so many emotions flowing right now. It was truly a historic election."

Siddiqui, a pediatrician from Clarksville who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board last year, was the top vote-getter Tuesday. Following Butler, a community activist from Ellicott City, in fourth place was retiree Betsy Grater and University of Maryland student Di Zou. The top finishers will join Chairman Frank Aquino and other sitting board members Sandra H. French, Patricia Gordon, and Larry Cohen, along with student member Adejire Bademosi.

(Top three elected)

100% of precincts reporting

Name ............................ Vote ......... Pct.

Janet Siddiqui* .... 56,521 ......... 22

Ellen Flynn Giles* ... 52,412 ........ 20

Allen Dyer ............ 49,766 ....... 19

Diane Butler ........ 48,743 ....... 19

Betsy Grater ........ 31,707 ....... 12

Di Zou ................... 19,720 ......... 8

*=incumbent

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