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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—They say every vote counts, and this election proved it.
In another historic first, one of this year’s Board of Education (BOE) races was too close to determine all of the winners on the night of the election.
New Brunswick has had annual school elections since 2013, but this is the first time they were close, according to unofficial results.
Despite the contest being low-key, just two votes separated challenger Yesenia Medina-Hernandez from incumbent Emra Seawood, who currently serves as the Board of Education President.
Medina-Hernandez, making her second run for a seat on the board, pulled down 155 votes today, just two more than Seawood. Whoever ends up with the most votes will secure third place and a three-year term on the BOE.
The other candidates in the race both got significantly more votes, securing three-year terms of their own.
Dale Caldwell came in first place with 216 votes, while Patricia Varela came in second place with 194.
In another race that was not contested, Diana Solis received 214 votes. Solis will serve a one-year term on the BOE.
All of the results are unofficial, and only includes votes cast on electronic voting machines. In the coming days, the Board of Elections will tabulate votes cast via mail-in ballots and provisional ballots, which are used when it is unclear if a voter is eligible to participate in the election.
The district’s annual budget was also approved by voters by a wide margin, 177-58, according to the preliminary results.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.