In easily the most interesting 7th District School Board contest since West vs Murray vs Coleman in 2006, Cheryl Burke appears to have won a 3-way contest for the seat to which she was appointed in late 2017 after Nadine Carter-Marsh stepped down due to personal reasons.
Burke has won all 5 of the of the 7 precincts in the district which have currently reported (and the absentee ballots), with a total of 56% of the vote (3,196 votes). Gary Broderick holds 2nd place with 23% (1,320 votes), with Bryce Robertson a close 3rd at 22% (1,237 votes). The two outstanding precincts – 703 (CH North/Oakwood) and 705 (Church Hill/Union Hill) are likely to have more balanced results, but are unlikely to provide enough votes to either Broderick or Robertson for them to win the election.
The day had its own little drama, with the Burke campaign accused of distributing illegal sample ballots and also using school sources to produce sample ballots. Let your take on that be a measure of your own cynicism.
Burke, appointed to the vacated seat last year, has almost 40 years experience with Richmond Public Schools as a teacher and as principal at Chimborazo ES, and won out over two younger challengers who ran to her left. Having now been popularly elected, she will hold the office until 2020 – a span which should include the construction of a new George Mason ES and perhaps Woodville ES and city-wide redistricting.
The 7th District covers Bellevue ES, Chimborazo ES, Fairfield ES, George Mason ES, Woodville ES, Armstrong HS, and Franklin Military (grades 6-12). MLK Middle School is in the 6th District.
Congrats to all three candidates on giving 7th district voters compelling reasons to vote, and congrats to all y’all that turned out and participated. Huge thanks to all of the volunteers working the polling locations today.
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