Although Manatee County School Board District 1 candidate Ed Viltz edged out fellow candidate Gina Messenger by 405 votes to take the top slot during the primary Tuesday, precinct-by-precinct results show Messenger outright won more precincts than any of the four candidates in that race.
Viltz earned 28 percent of the votes Tuesday night, and Messenger earned 27.3 percent. Of the 70 precincts, Messenger won 27 outright. She tied one precinct with candidate Xtavia Bailey and earned the same number of votes as Linda Schaich in two others. Viltz won 26 precincts, Bailey took home eight and Schaich won six.
In the District 3 school board race, Dave Miner took home 46.5 percent of the votes, outright winning 61 of the 70 precincts. Misty Servia, who earned 37.6 percent of votes, won eight precincts on her own. The candidates earned the same number of votes in one precinct. Charlie Conoley, who earned 16 percent of the vote total, did not take the top number of votes in any individual precinct.
Overall, only 27 percent of registered voters — 59,615 people — in Manatee County voted Tuesday. A total of 51,342 people voted in the District 1 race, and 54,004 people voted in the District 3 race.
Both races will be decided in the November election, where voters will choose between Messenger and Viltz for the District 1 seat and between Miner and Servia for the District 3 seat.
School board races are nonpartisan, and voters across the county can vote in school board races. Candidates must reside in the district for which they are running. The District 1 seat covers the northern part of the county, excluding downtown Palmetto, extending to the eastern border.
Among the 17 District 1 precincts, Viltz won five, Messenger won four, Schaich also won four, and Bailey won two.
Those who voted at the Shadowbrook Mobile Home Park were split. At that location, 251 voters each cast a ballot in favor of Bailey and Messenger. Another 420 voters there split their votes evenly between Schaich and Viltz.
At the Duette Fire & Rescue District polling location, 37 voters each cast a ballot in favor of Messenger and Schaich, creating a tie for that precinct.
The final tie in the District 1 race came from polling location 307, Bradenton Beach Fire Hall. There, 61 voters each cast a ballot for Messenger and Schaich.
Among the District 3 precincts, Miner won all 10 precincts located within the District 3 coverage area.
In the District 3 race, voters casting a ballot at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church on Prospect Road created a tie between Miner and Servia, with 424 people each voting for them.
Servia bested Miner in half of the 14 precincts located in the District 5 area, which includes Lakewood Ranch and the eastern part of the county south of State Road 64. She also earned more support than Miner from voters at the Stoneybrook Golf Clubhouse, located on Stone Harbour Loop in Bradenton, part of the District 1 voting area.