With the unofficial results published, Talkeetna resident Donna Dearman is in the lead for School Board Seat F. She currently leads incumbent Neal Lacy by 135 votes. The other two candidates for Seat F are significantly behind the frontrunners. Barring an unusual distribution of absentee and questioned ballot votes for Neal Lacy, Dr. Dearman is likely to be confirmed as the winner.
Dr. Dearman says that, despite driving more than 2,400 miles to visit each school in the Borough and taking out ad spots on cable TV, she is surprised that she is in the lead.
“I woke up this morning and I pinched myself, and I said, ‘Is it really Wednesday, and it’s all over, and am I really going to serve three years on the Mat-Su School Board.’ So yeah, it’s a little bit surreal.”
Dr. Dearman credits her electoral success to an “old-fashioned, grassroots campaign.” She was a common sight at meetings all over the Borough during the campaign, wearing her over-sized “School Board Candidate” name tag. Dr. Dearman’s campaign centered heavily on geographic diversity on the School Board in addition to her experience as an educator. As late as Saturday, she was on the campaign trail in the Lower Valley.
“I was down in Wasilla and Palmer in front of Carr’s and Fred Meyer’s. I was just saying, ‘Hello, how are you? Do you plan on voting on Tuesday? I’m Dr. Donna Dearman. I’m running for the School Board,’ and handing out little card and shaking hands. I think that’s what people need. They need to see that you’re really serious and sincere. Most people that I met, they said that they could see that I was honest and true, and really had a passion and a fire about me.”
Dr. Dearman says she managed to visit every Mat-Su school during her campaign, and, pending confirmation of her victory, is looking forward to being sworn into her seat on the School Board later this month.