Walker beats out Melvin a second time to keep school board seat

School Board chairman James Walker beat out challenger Duane Melvin for the school board's District 3 seat.

Unofficial results, with six out of six precincts reporting show Walker with 1,824 votes and Melvin with 924 votes. Walker also received 2,091 in-person absentee ballots; Melvin received 868 in-person absentee ballots.

"I feel great," Walker said after the race was called by the Ledger-Enquirer at about 9 p.m. He said he was out to win, but that the race was not about him -- it was about the children. "I love what I do. I do it for the children."

Both candidates campaigned on improving student achievement and preparing for the students expected after the U.S. Army relocates the Armor School from Fort Knox, Ky., to Fort Benning. Growth due to the Base Realignment and Closure process is expected to bring about 6,500 students to the Muscogee County School District.

"We will continue to help the schools get better," Walker said. "We only have a few schools that are not making AYP."

Walker, a retired insurance agent, has served on the board for 14 years and has served as chairman.

Melvin is a retired Army major who ran against Walker in 2004 and lost. He works as a unit manager in the Stewart County Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Ga.