Steamboat Springs In October 2006, the Steamboat Springs School Board voted 3-1 to appoint Jerry Kozatch, not Laura Anderson, to the District 5 seat vacated when former School Board President Tom Miller-Freutel resigned.
Anderson turned the tables Tuesday night.
Anderson, a former engineer who describes herself as a "volunteer mom," won a solid victory against Kozatch, earning a seat on the School Board with more than 60 percent.
"I obviously thank the community - the people who voted, who put up yard signs to those who gave me advice - and there are so many wonderful people in this community," Anderson said. "I'll do the best I can do for the people of Steamboat Springs."
Anderson previously said her desire to challenge Kozatch for the seat was partly because of the board's buyout of former Superintendent Donna Howell's contract.
"The timing of the board's decision in August to fire the superintendent was a great concern to me," Anderson said. "With 'Camp Soda Creek' still under construction, and two weeks before school was to start for 2,000 students, the district was without leadership. This was not done in the best interest of our students."
Despite joining a School Board that has two board members - John DeVincentis and Denise Connelly - who voted to buy out Howell's contract, Anderson said Tuesday night that she is excited to get to work.
"I look forward to working with Denise and John and whoever else is elected tonight," she said. "Anyone who gives their time to serve on the board is a good person because it takes a lot of time and effort. I look forward to doing what is right for the kids, opening communication at all levels and completing all the projects that are ongoing."
Anderson is one of three candidates, including District 4 candidate Robin Crossan and District 2 candidate Lisa Brown, who campaigned as the "ABCs for Education."
All three candidates won a spot on the School Board on Tuesday. Crossan defeated Char Rusk, and Brown ran uncontested.
"We may have campaigned together, but we are coming to the board as individuals," Anderson said.
Kozatch spent election night with family in Hawaii. He said he was not prepared to give a statement until the results were final, but he did call the results "really disappointing."
Between the School Board and the Steamboat Springs City Council, Kozatch was one of five incumbents to lose a seat Tuesday.
"It looks like all the incumbents are going down," Kozatch said. "I guess people like voting 'no.'"