After Tie, Incumbent Emra Seawood Wins Special School Election

Emra Seawood (center) was re-elected last night to the city's Board of Education, according to unofficial results.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The city’s former Board of Education president has kept her seat on the panel, according to unofficial election results provided by New Brunswick’s city clerk.

Emra Seawood won the special election yesterday, June 20, for a three-year term on New Brunswick Public Schools’ board.

Seawood received 261 ballots, or more than 56 percent of the vote, according to the results. Her opponent, challenger Yesenia Medina-Hernandez, received 203 votes, or just 43 percent of the total.

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The decision caps a long school board election season in which the first round, which took place in April, ended in a tie between Seawood and Medina-Hernandez.

At first, unofficial results from that race suggested that Medina-Hernandez had unseated Seawood by a single vote.

The women were essentially vying for third place. Incumbents Dale Caldwell, who has since been voted board president by his colleagues, and Patricia Valera had each won a three-year seat. Diana Solis, another incumbent, had claimed a one-year term in an uncontested victory.

But, with the vote totals of the two trailing candidates so close, Seawood requested a recount in May, according to election documents.

The subsequent review occurred on May 12 and revealed a previously overlooked vote for Seawood. That meant she and Medina-Hernandez were locked in a tie.

So, shortly afterward, the city school district announced a special run-off election that would determine the winner.

That competition took place yesterday at polling places throughout the city.

Other than Seawood and Medina-Hernandez, one vote was cast for a write-in candidate, according to the unofficial results.

In total, 477 of New Brunswick’s 21,218 registered voters participated in the special election, according to the document. That turnout represented just 2.25 percent of the city’s population of voters.

Fourteen of the votes cast yesterday came in through mail-in ballots, according to the city.

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