This article was updated at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday to reflect updated vote totals from the Essex County Clerk's office.
SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There were eleven candidates on the ballot vying for three positions on the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education (SOMBOE): Narda Chisholm-Greene, Michael Laskowski, Bruno Navarro, Shannon Cuttle, Felisha George, Avery Julien, Marian Cutler, James Wilkes, Christopher Trzaska, Annemarie Maini, and Javier Farfan.
In a race initially too close to call on Tuesday night with not all districts reporting results, unofficial results from 100% of districts are now available from the Essex County Clerk.
Based on those results, the winners are: Shannon Cuttle with 17.21% of the vote (6,910 votes), Annemarie Mani with 17.18% of the vote (6,900 votes), and Javier Farfan with 14.09% of the vote (5,660 votes).
Narda Chisholm-Greene finished in 4th place with 13.79% of the vote (5,537 votes).
Laskowski received 12.49% of the vote; Navarro, George, Julien, Cutler, Wilkes, and Trzaska each received less than 7% of the total votes cast.
There were more than 40,000 votes cast in the SOMBOE election; voters could select up to three candidates for whom to vote. There were 89 write-in votes. In the 2017 Board of Education election, 28,330 votes were cast, including 47 write-in votes.
ABOUT THE CANDIDATES
Maini was the only incumbent running, and Maini and Farfan ran on a joint ticket.
In addition to Maini and Farfan's joint campaign, other candidates running together were Chisholm-Greene and Laskowski, and Cutler and Trzaska.
Maini was the only incumbent running for re-election as current board members Chris Sabin (1st Vice President) and Madhu Pai (2nd Vice President) did not seek re-election.
There were nine candidates in the 2017 BOE election, and five candidates in the 2016 BOE election.
South Orange Maplewood Board of Education members serve three-year terms.
STATEMENT FROM SHANNON CUTTLE
Newly elected Board of Education member Shannon Cuttle provided the following statement:
I’m both humbled and grateful for the incredible opportunity to work with colleagues on the Board of Education, administrators, staff, community stakeholders and most importantly, our students in advancing our school district. While the campaign is now done, the real work begins in building inclusive, welcoming, and safer schools for all our students - a promise I made and intend to keep. My life’s work has been as an advocate for all students, especially marginalized students. To everyone who supported me, words can’t describe how grateful I am. For others, know I will work equally hard for all our students and hope to earn your trust as we move forward together.
Editor's note: this article was first published with 94% (31 of 33) districts reporting, and updated at 11 p.m. on Tuesday with 97% (32 of 33) districts reporting, with Maplewood District 7 the only district that has not reported results at that time. The article was updated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday with the Maplewood clerk's results for District 7, and again at 3:40 p.m. with 100% of districts reporting results from the Essex County clerk.
This article was updated again at 6 p.m. to include a statement from newly-elected board member Shannon Cuttle.