News and Tribune

November 6, 2012

NA-FC school board gets two new faces

One incumbent wins, one loses

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — One incumbent kept her seat on the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.’s board of trustees after Tuesday’s election, but two newcomers will have a voice in meetings starting in January.

Rebecca Gardenour was elected to the board’s District 4 seat for her third term, receiving 13,070 votes, or 56.25 percent, beating Ralph Dooley, who received 9,959 votes, or 43.25 percent.

Gardenour said she’s glad to get her seat again and hopes to continue doing as much good as she can for the district’s schools and students.

“I’m just honored and humbled to win in the general election, especially with so many people coming out to vote,” Gardenour said. “I will continue to do what’s best for kids and represent the community, the parents and the taxpayers through my tenure on the board.”

In the race for the at-large seat, incumbent Lee Cotner was easily bested by Jessica Knable. She received 10,182 votes, or 39.98 percent. Cotner, who placed third in the race, received 4,822 votes, or 18.93 percent. Don Sakel came in second place for the seat with 6,345 votes, or 24.91 percent.

Knable said she didn’t expect to win, but learned a few things in her race for the District 2 seat on New Albany’s City Council last year.

“I thought [Cotner] would win, honestly,” Knable said. “I was beat last time by an incumbent and I thought I’d be beaten this time ... I honestly thought I would come in second. I was probably a little bit smarter this time because I have run before, but I think my greatest asset in the campaign as it was last time was my husband Al.

“Last time, he went to hundreds and hundreds of doors.”

She said though she didn’t have to take her campaign door-to-door, she was able to talk to parents and teachers in the school where she works — Mount Tabor Elementary — and her husband talked to people in the community as well.

Cotner was called for comment, but didn’t return calls by press time.

For the District 3 seat, George Gauntt will take over for Neal Smith, who did not run for re-election. Gauntt received 11,899 votes, or 56.44 percent. His opponent, Garrod Sieveking, received 9,184 votes, or 43.56 percent.

Gauntt said he’s excited to begin his first term and feels he and his opponent ran clean campaigns.

“Thanks to the people that put a lot of hard work getting signs out and I appreciate all the votes people cast in my favor,” Gauntt said. “Hopefully, I’ll do a good job for them.”