Dave Miner has earned enough support from Manatee County to serve a second term on the school board — but it didn’t come easy.
“I think this is another victory for the children of Manatee County,” Miner said Tuesday night. “I think it reflects that this large turnout has endorsed the candidate who’s dedicated to making education better for our children for years to come.”
So marks the end of the hotly contested race, which went negative almost immediately after banker Charlie Conoley was eliminated from the race during the August primary. Throughout the rest of the fall, Servia and Miner traded blows, including each of them launching attack websites. Servia has also filed elections complaints against Miner.
With all precincts reporting at 8:35 p.m, Miner had a slim lead over Servia, earning 78,734 voters against her 76,860 votes. Miner earned 51 percent of the vote and Servia earned 49 percent.
Reached at Demetrios’ Pizza House, where Servia hosted a results watch party, Servia said she was proud of the campaign she ran.
“I think that we were facing a tough incumbent and I’m proud of the work we did. I wish Mr. Miner great success,” she said.
The other school board race also was decided Tuesday, with Gina Messenger defeating Ed Viltz. Messenger earned 98,943 voters, equating to 68 percent. Viltz came in with 47,419 votes, meaning 32 percent of voters cast a ballot next to his name.
School board members serve four-year terms. The board will swear in new members during the Nov. 22 re-organizational meeting.