A newcomer, Ben Lindy, was headed toward winning a seat on the Cincinnati Board of Education Tuesday night, while three incumbents backed by the Democratic Party and the teachers' union also were winning.
Lindy, the head of the local branch of Teach for America, which recruits people to teach for two years in schools, was considered the outsider in the race, because of the friction between the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and Teach for America.
But, with 98% of the district's 232 precincts reporting, Lindy was winning with 20% of the vote in the six-candidate race, almost nine percentage points ahead of the fourth place finisher, Republican Heather M. Couch, who was out of the running.
The top two vote-getters in the field race were incumbents Eve Bolton and Carolyn Jones, with 29% and 28%, respectively.
Lindy told WVXU he tried to run a campaign that was focused not on politics, but on the children of the district.
"I think sometimes we let politics get in the way of what is best for the kids,'' said Lindy, a product of Cincinnati Public Schools who said he intends to send his young children to CPS schools.
"Education should be purple,'' said Lindy, who says he has been a lifelong Democrat. "Everybody has a stake in this."
The unique perspective he will bring to the board, Lindy said, "is that I am the only one who has been a teacher in a low-income public school. I know what that is like."
In a separate three-candidate race for an unexpired term on the board, incumbent Pamela Bowers, who was appointed to the seat in March, easily defeated challengers Gary Favors, an endorsed Republican, and Steve Megerle.
The one incumbent who did not make it was Ozie Davis, a candidate endorsed by the teachers' union and the Democratic Party.
Davis failed to make the ballot in September because he did not have enough valid signatures on his petitions. He filed to run as a write-in candidate with the board of elections. Only 1,974 write-in ballots were cast. Even if all of them are counted he would still be in last place with only 2.6 percent of the vote.