MANATEE — Incumbent Barbara Harvey and lawyer Karen Carpenter on Tuesday night each won seats on the Manatee County school board. But the board’s District 3 race between Julie Aranibar and incumbent Jane Pfeilsticker is headed to a Nov. 2 run-off.
Three of the five school board seats were up for election this year.
Harvey won re-election with 23,060 votes, or 52.7 percent. Her challenger, David Bailey, had 20,696 votes, or 47.3 percent.
“I did a whole lot of praying through this one, but thank God it’s over and thank God we won,” said Harvey who celebrated her win at the Anna Gayle Center in Palmetto.
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“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure all our schools are ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools and that funding goes directly into the schools to make sure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”
Bailey, after learning of his loss, joked about a potential recount.
“It is what it is,” said Bailey who has run against Harvey three times for the District 1 seat.
Meanwhile across town at Harbor Vista Hotel on U.S. 41., Carpenter celebrated her victory. She beat Jennifer A. Radebach for the District 5 seat. Unofficial results showed Carpenter with 21,956 votes, or 52.4 percent. Radebach trailed with 19,956 votes, or 47.6 percent.
“I’m a little stunned, but there’s a lot of work to do and I expect to be able to call on the people to help,” Carpenter said.
Radebach, who spent time with friends and supporters, expressed disappointment.
“I ran an issue-based campaign on how to provide the best quality education ... a clean campaign based on my credentials which clearly separate me from my opponent,” Radebach said. “Unfortunately, it did not reach all the voters, so I want to thank everyone, my family who stood by me throughout this campaign and the sacrifices they made.”
With all 127 precincts reporting, Aranibar had 17,805 votes, or 41.5 percent, according to unofficial results. Pfeilsticker, the board’s chairwoman, trailed with 17,561 votes, or 40.9 percent.
Albert Yusko, a third candidate in the District 3 race, had 7,574 votes, or 17.6 percent.
“Hey, I’m a happy person and glad for the girls still in it,” said Yusko, who spent the evening at the supervisor of elections office and said he will wait to decide who he’ll endorse.
Pfeilsticker, who stayed at home on Tuesday night, said she’s disappointed she didn’t win outright, but she said she is confident people who were reluctant to come out to vote Tuesday, will do so in November.
“Specifically, Republicans who presumed I would win will come out for the general,” she said. “I’m the best candidate for the job. It’s clear from my credentials and I’m confident I will prevail in the end.”
So is Aranibar.
”I’m looking forward to the general election,” she said by phone from the Polo Grill. “My campaign was not funded by people who built schools, but by a cross-section of the community.”