BETHEL TWP. — In Bethel Township, challengers unseated all three incumbents in the race for Bethel Local Schools board of education.
In January, Danny Elam, with unofficial results showing that he received approximately 20 percent of the vote as of press time, Julie Reese (18 percent) and Jacob King (15.6 percent) will join the board.
Eight candidates vied for three seats on the board — incumbents Scott Hawthorn, Brian Moore and Joe Solch were not reelected. They each received approximately 8 percent of the vote. The other candidates included Jennifer Evans and Chase Heck. Evans received about 12 percent and Heck received about 9.5 percent of the vote.
“The key here, I think, for everyone to look at is the people have spoken,” King said. “Every new candidate that was on the ballot beat an incumbent. That tells a lot about how the community feels about the current board of education.”
King thanked his supporters and the other candidates, as well as his wife.
“We have to improve communication, internally and externally, and focus on getting the contract settled,” King said. He added that if the current board does not work out a contract with the teachers association before January, he looks forward to tackling that issue head on.
Elam, a retired Bethel teacher, thanked the voters who supported his campaign.
“I truly am honored and humbled that I got so many votes from my fellow township residents,” Elam said. “I hope to do the best that I can and I will do the best that I can.”
Elam said that his first order of business in January will be to make sure that the teachers have a new contract.
Reese said she was shocked and honored by the support of the voters.
“I’d like to thank the people that supported me and the other candidates,” she said. “It was a real honor going through the process.”
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