There will likely be a new face on the Anacortes School Board in January: challenger Jennie Beltramini appears to have defeated incumbent Bill Shaw in the Nov. 5 election.
As of Friday, Nov. 8, Beltramini had 3,871 votes to Shaw’s 2,319 for Position 4. That gives her about 63% of the vote. Beltramini said she is “cautiously optimistic” she will hold that lead.
“I’m thankful to all those who support me and those who voted,” she wrote in an email.
Shaw is finishing a four-year term on the board. He congratulated Beltramini.
“Jennie is joining a strong and effective school board, and I wish her the best in making positive contributions to the Anacortes schools,” he said.
The other two incumbent board members, Matt Cutter and Marilyn Hanesworth, are leading their election bids.
Hanesworth, now finishing her first term in Position 3, was leading as of the third ballot count Nov. 8, with about 71% of the vote over Miri Levi.
In an email, Hanesworth said she is grateful for the community’s strong support.
“In turn, it makes me even more excited to continue the good work the district and board have been doing to support our kids,” she wrote in her email.
Levi thanked her supporters in a statement.
“We earned the respect and support of a fairly significant number of Anacortes voters,” she said. “We also called attention to many important issues, and we’re optimistic that the conversations we started will continue among the school board directors who are elected to serve us.”
Levi wrote that she wants to get the community more involved with issues at the School Board level.
“I’m sure I’ll continue to find ways to use my enthusiasm and willingness to volunteer to benefit the Anacortes school community,” she wrote.
Cutter, who was appointed to the board in March to replace Karl Yost, who resigned, was leading the race for Position 5 as of the Nov. 8 count. He had 2,469 votes (about 58%) to challenger Connie Pangrazi’s 2,479.
Cutter said he enjoyed getting to know Pangrazi during the election process.
“However the race turned out, I knew that Position 5 was going to be in good hands,” Cutter said in an email.
Pangrazi offered congratulations to Cutter. “What a great experience this election proved to be,” she wrote in an email. “Congratulations to Matt! I know he will continue to be a wonderful influence on and contributor to the district.”
There are about 9,300 ballots left to count countywide. Tuesday’s updated count was released after the American’s press time.