The top three vote-getters for the school board seats at Bowling Green City Schools have changed – but a recount will be needed before the results are final.
According to the Wood County Board of Elections, Peggy Thompson is in second place while Steve Bateson dropped from third to fourth.
The new totals, as certified by the elections board Monday, were Tracy Hovest, 3,999 (16.11%); Thompson, 3,859 (15.55%); Howard “Ardy” Gonyer, 3,806 (15.33%); Bateson, 3,782 (15.24%); Joe Edens, 3,420 (13.78%); Brian Paskvan, 3,570 (14.38%); and Steven Goyer, 1,393 (5.61%).
Rick Busselle, who dropped out of the race, received 933 votes (4%).
There will be an automatic recount, said board of elections Director Terry Burton.
There are 26 votes separating Gonyer and Bateson, and fewer than 46 will trigger a recount, he said.
The additional votes came from provisional and absentee ballots mailed the Monday before Election Day.
The unofficial results on Nov. 7 had Hovest as the top unofficial vote getter with 3,875 votes, followed by Bateson with 3,739, Gonyer with 3,738 and Thompson 11 back with 3,727.
Thompson picked up 132 votes while Bateson only received 43.
Thompson said she thought she may bump to third, but never second.
She said she campaigned outside city limits, including a special mailing to voters in outlying areas.
“I think that helped a lot,” she said.
She said when she joins the board in January, she wants to make sure members can work together, be fiscally responsible and show transparency so that everyone knows why decisions were made.
Thompson was the only candidate who opposed the bond issue for a new high school.
“We’re a democracy and that’s been settled,” she said about the vote. “I just want to make sure we’re fiscally responsible moving forward.”
“It’s disappointing,” said Bateson. “I think I could have made a difference to the district in a lot of aspects.”
He said he ran a good campaign but came up short.
“The voters have the final say. You have to go with what the voter’s wish,” he said.
Gonyer, who attended the meeting, said he was excited with the results and was looking forward to serving the citizens in the school district.
“I’m very hopeful at this point,” he said.
He said he was happy about the levy outcome but now it is time to talk about the other facilities.
He admitted there was one more hurdle with the recount, “but I’m excited to see how it’s going so far.”
Burton said he was not expecting different results after the recount, planned for Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
He said a change occurs “practically never.”
He said when so many ballots are added in crowded races, he knew there would be movement of the candidates.
“Which way that movement went was anybody’s guess,” Burton said.
He said he was surprised, based on the number of candidates for school board in Perrysburg, Rossford and Elmwood, that more recounts weren’t planned.
A change in board members has happened before in Bowling Green.
Eight years ago, Barbara Moses, who won based on unofficial results, ultimately lost to Ginny Stewart after provisional ballots were counted.