Teachers support helps earn Dover, Huron seats on Steamboat Springs School Board | SteamboatToday.com

Teachers support helps earn Dover, Huron seats on Steamboat Springs School Board

— Michelle Dover and Margaret Huron, two school board candidates who earned a strong showing of support from the Steamboat Springs school employee union, soared to victory in Tuesday's election, along with incumbent candidate Joey Andrew.

As of counts released at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dover earned the highest number of votes with 3,071, followed by Huron with 2,713 and Andrew with 2,520.

Trailing the top three were candidates were Anne Lowe with 2,289 votes and Lindsay Wert with 1,538.

Voters were asked to cast votes for up to three candidates, though not all voters chose three.

"I'm very excited," said Dover, after hearing early reports of her win. "I feel like the community spoke, and they support our teachers and our schools. I'm psyched."

Dover said she was pleased to see Huron was also elected.

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"I really wanted to have a functional group of people working together, and I think we got that," she said.

Huron, who campaigned with Dover on a platform that promised to support teachers and keep controversial school reform out of Steamboat, was also satisfied with the results.

"I'm very gratified that the community chose us to represent Steamboat," Huron said. "I'm looking forward to working with the community together to work on solving issues like overcrowding."

Andrew said he was happy to be back on the board but unsurprised by the election's results.

"I'm definitely excited to be re-elected," said Andrew, who was first elected to the board to serve a two-year term in 2013.

Andrew was the only one of three candidates eligible for re-election who chose to run this year.

Following controversial "reformer-style" school board majorities making waves on the Front Range and nationwide, the Steamboat Springs Education Association took a proactive approach to this year's school board race, inviting candidates to interviews and analyzing their political ties, leading to endorsements of Dover and Huron and a voiced non-support for Wert and Lowe.

Local teachers also used a small donor committee run through the statewide Colorado Education Association to give $1,750 donations to both Huron and Dover, which garnered criticism from Lowe, Wert and others who promised transparency and local control.

Andrew once shared election advertising space with Lowe and Wert, but otherwise remained unaffiliated with most of the controversy between the two sides of the school board race.

Candidate Sameta Rush was the winner for the only open two-year seat on the board. She earned 2,629 votes, about 66 percent of the vote, against Kristen Feiges, who publicly dropped out of the election early on but whose name was still on the ballot.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow