Write-in Campaign Works in Wattsburg
Ten days ago, the Wattsburg school board hosted a special meeting and approved a $3 million renovation to its athletic facilities. More than a hundred taxpayers came to the meeting but couldn't sway the board.
So this week, they changed the board, nominating two write-in candidates and winning.
Jodi Gray and her fellow taxpayers left the Wattsburg school board meeting defeated.
But the next morning, she woke up determined.
So she called other people upset with the school board, and they started thinking.
"We sat there and said 'is there anything we can do' and huh, lo and behold, the elections are coming up in less than a week,” Gray said. “And oh my goodness, there's five seats open on that election for the Wattsburg school board."
"The group had its plan, but it needed some candidates."
Steven O'Donnell ran for the board in May but lost in a primary.
When Gray explained her plan, he jumped on board.
"I wanted to help make sure that things were good for the students that were there,” O’Donnell said. “That things were good for the community and that things were good for my children."
Gray recruited another candidate, Tara Pound. Then the group got to work spreading its message.
"They made brochures and pamphlets and signs,” O’Donnell said. They gathered volunteers, they organized to make sure at every location, there was a presence there. "
Unofficial results show the write-ins with more than double the votes of the incumbents.
Gray says that day, the school board went to class and learned a valuable lesson.
"We told them, if you voted yes, we would vote them out, and they didn't take us seriously, but I bet they are now."