It appears two women have earned four-year seats on the Telluride School Board.
Complete but unofficial Election Day results show that Jill O’Dell bested two other candidates vying for two four-year seats on the board.
O’Dell pulled 1,183 votes, or 39.2 percent, and maintained a comfortable lead over challengers Stephanie Anagnostou Hatcher and Stu Fraser as votes were posted in waves between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on the San Miguel County Clerk & Recorder’s website.
The race for the second seat was the closest of the evening when taking into account the other two local elections, the Telluride Town Council race (10 candidates competing for four seats) and Ballot Issue 1A, an Early Childhood Initiative.
Hatcher, who was appointed to an interim position on the board during the summer, ended up defeating Fraser by 36 votes, according to the unofficial count. In earning the second School Board seat, she pulled 936 votes, or 31 percent, compared with Fraser’s 900 votes, or 29.8 percent.
Hatcher could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening, but O’Dell offered a few comments at Rustico Ristorante, where a victory party was being held by supporters of the child care initiative.
Before all the votes were in, O’Dell said she was cautiously optimistic of victory, considering her lead in the race and because of the ties she has made in 16 years of work as an occupational therapist in the school district.
“I’m not surprised, but I’m definitely humbled, that I’m doing so well,” O’Dell said.
“I have really strong relationships with a number of the teachers and a wide net of parents. In fact, some of the students I used to work with voted for me. People know me, they know my reputation, I’ve lived here a really long time. I didn’t really run an aggressive campaign,” she said.
Fraser, reached at home after 10:15 p.m., wasn’t sure whether more votes would be coming in to give him a push over Hatcher. The former Telluride mayor and councilman said he was pleased with the outcome of all the local elections and was glad that he ran for School Board.
“It’s fine,” Fraser said. “”I’m not sure where we’re going to end up.”
He said his two opponents, O’Dell and Hatcher, would do a good job on the board. The school district is running well, Fraser said, adding that although he wanted to serve but would accept any result.
“There’s nothing negative with our school system,” he said. “If I’m not chosen, that’s fine, because everyone’s doing a good job. I just wanted to be a part of it.”
There also was an election for a two-year seat on the board. In that race, Dylan Brooks ran unopposed, and 1,451 voters were cast in his favor anyway.