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UPDATE | Spence grateful for second term on Bainbridge school board
Tuesday's only contested race for a seat on the Bainbridge Island School Board is wrapping up with two candidates who feel like winners.
The big winner, of course, was incumbent Bainbridge Island School Board President Mike Spence.
With 4,416 ballots counted in the race and a sizable lead, Spence thanked voters for a second term on the board.
The first vote count released by the Kitsap County Elections Division on Election Night put Spence firmly in front.
He had the early advantage, with 56.8 percent of the vote over Perry's 42.8 percent.
"It feels pretty good," Spence said after a night of celebration at the Bainbridge Island Brewing Company with friends.
"I am honored that the voters have shown the confidence in me to continue the good things that the district has done," he said.
Spence said he was heartened that voters did not heed the harsh criticism leveled by some at the school district.
"I just think there's a small group of people who are very loud, who unfairly criticized the district. All in all, we do a pretty good job —and the voters understand that," he said.
Perry said, in one way, it was a win for his campaign.
He noted that he ran against an incumbent who had the backing of the school board behind him.
"I was quite impressed because of the fact that we ran against the entire board: The entire board endorsed my opponent," Perry said.
Although he didn't win, he said his campaign gave a voice to many.
"A couple thousand people voted for us. The board needs to wake up to the fact that a couple thousand people are not happy with what the board is doing," Perry said.
Three seats were up for grabs on the Bainbridge school board this November, but the race between Spence and Perry was the only contested matchup.
School board newcomer Sheila Jakubik was unopposed for the District 5 seat on the board, and incumbent Mev Hoberg ran unchallenged for the District 3 seat.
Jakubik had 98.4 percent of the vote Tuesday in her first race for elected office, while Hoberg had 98.2 percent of the vote in her solo shot for a school board seat.