With all four precincts reporting in the District 6 race on the Muscogee County School Board, two-term incumbent Mark Cantrell easily beat challenger Eddie Obleton by 2,096 (56 percent) to 1,418 (38 percent).
Cantrell is the board’s vice chairman and CEO of Action Buildings. Obleton is a former MCSD administrator and now an assistant principal at Russell County High School.
Retired U.S. Army colonel Bob Roth dropped out of the race after the ballots were printed and received 244 votes (6 percent).
In phone interviews with the candidates Tuesday night, Cantrell told the Ledger-Enquirer he was “sweating a little bit” when the early voting results showed him leading Obleton by only 510 to 500.
“When it was a 10-vote difference, I thought it was going to be a long night,” Cantrell said.
Winning by a comfortable margin, he said, makes him feel “really blessed that the voters wanted to send me back for a third term. It just humbles you. ... It’s been a stressful two months. Campaigns take a lot out of you. Now, we can focus 100 percent on the school board on taking care of the children.”
Asked for the key to his win, Cantrell said, “Dr. Obleton is such a fine man, a good man. It’s just confidence from the voters. I think they know I’m honest and fair and try to do the right thing.”
Obleton said, “I tried to tell people what I was standing for, and that was for kids. I felt and still feel qualified for the position, and I wish him the best and hope he takes care of the children.”
Referring to Cantrell outspending him in the campaign, Obleton said, “He bought just about every sign board out there.”
As for whether he will run again, Obleton said, “I don’t know. I’ll have to approach it very prayerfully, as I did this time. But I’m not ashamed of the results.”