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Racine Unified Election Update: Incumbents Grab Strong Lead

Want to know who's in the lead?

With tallies in from 100 percent of the polling places in the Racine Unified School District, incumbents Kim Plache, Gretchen Warner and Don Nielsen led the Racine Unified School Board primary race all evening.

However, all six candidates—Scott Brownell, Gretchen Warner, Kim Plache, Roger Pfost, Brian Dey and Don Nielsen—will all advance to the spring election, which will be held April 3.

In Caledonia, 3,860 people voted in the primary election while 4,491 people voted in Mount Pleasant, and 401 people voted in Sturtevant. Plache, Nielsen and Warner earned the top votes in all three communities. Caledonia had 97 outstanding absentee ballots.

Don Nielsen waited for the results at the District office.

"I’d like to say that the board is starting to build a trust within the community," Nielsen said. "I think that it’s a start and it’s going to be an ongoing process… we’re not going to make a dramatic change in the District unless we get the support of the community. Hopefully this is going the first step in that process."

Here are the totals:

Scott Brownell: 2,001

Gretchen Warner (I): 3,350

Kevin Cronin: 775

Kim Plache (I): 3,959

Roger Pfost: 1,888

Brian Dey: 1,974

Don Nielsen (I): 3,343

Other: 8

Total votes: 17,299

Vote totals are unofficial until certified by the Board of Canvassers. 

Chris Larsen February 22, 2012 at 03:28 PM
This is encouraging considering that most municipalities had no other local races on their ballots, just the City. Expect turnout higher at the general election, but also watch for the flood of REA, WEAC and PAC fliers coming out.
Brian Dey February 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Heather- Don't be discouraged. We're not, in fact given the circumstances of the primary, the showing has just the opposite affect. The unions pressed hard, including phonebanks, literature distributed to teachers in the schools by the unions and these are long time incumbents. Needless to say, they are very motivated to hold onto what they have and they have a current board that agrees. On the otherhand, every article by the Journal Times said the primary was a done deal, so the supporters of the new candidates were not nearly as motivated. If anything, we are finding that the results of the primary are motivating our supporters. So hang in there. This is what we expected and we are prepared to campaign hard to take back our schools for you.
Eric February 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Brian as far as I'm concerned Caledonia should be looking to get the hell out RUSD. I see no reason why we should be funding a failing schools system that we get to send our kids out of our community to attend. You have my vote until then maybe you and others can turn things around but I ain't holding my breath.
mau February 22, 2012 at 08:49 PM
You hit the nail on the head. They were definitely out to send a symbolic (and verbal) message.
Sandy February 24, 2012 at 06:37 AM
I actually think many did not even know of the election. I found out the day of and then ended up getting stuck out of town and couldn't vote. I will be voting in the April 3rd election though and getting the word out between now and then will be crucial if we want to change the tide of RUSD. Any ideas, other than word of mouth, how we can get the word out? I don't watch the news and rarely listen to talk radio. I know there are more like me out there and they need to be reached.

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