District 1: HUGLEY-GREEN 63%, WALKER 29%, SELDON 8%
District 3: WALKER 69%, MELVIN 31%
District 7: MARVETS 58%, NEWBERN 41%
Muscogee County school board members James Walker and Pat Hugley-Green will keep their seats, while local business owner and parent Norene Marvets will be District 7's new representative.
In the District 1 race, incumbent Pat Hugley-Green collected 4,782 votes, Mary Walker got 2,204 votes, and Christopher Seldon received 568 votes. In the District 3 race, James Walker gathered 4,225 votes to challenger Duane Melvin's 1,902. In the District 7 race, Marvets received 2,478 votes, and opponent Ryan Newbern collected 1,756 votes.
This is the second time Walker has beaten out Melvin for the school board's District 3 seat. The two ran against each other in 2004.
Tuesday night, Walker collected about 69 percent of the vote.
"I feel great," he 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," Walker said. "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 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 is currently its chairman.
Melvin is a retired Army major who works as a unit manager in the Stewart County Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Ga.
Hugley-Green collected about 63 percent of the vote. Challengers Mary Walker and Seldon received 29 percent and 8 percent of the vote, respectively.
Hugley-Green has been on the board for one four-year term. During her tenure on the board, she has helped get pay raises for all employees, campaigned to rename Eastway Elementary as Lonnie Jackson Academy and fought to build a new Rigdon Road Elementary School.
Walker is a real estate broker and former educator who ran against Hugley-Green in 2004 and lost. She taught at Reese Road and Claflin elementary schools.
Seldon is an electrical contractor who has volunteered as a coach, mentor and tutor at the YMCA and Clubview Elementary.
In the District 7 race, Marvets gathered about 58 percent of the vote. Newbern received about 41 percent of the vote. The incumbent, Joe Roberson, did not seek re-election.
Marvets is the mother of six children and has been involved with area schools as a PTA president and as a member of the MCSD Sex Education Committee. She and her husband own John Paul Jeweler's on Warm Springs Road.
Newbern is a student at Chattahoochee Valley Community College. He moved to District 7 to help care for his grandmother and works in sales for Knology. After he receives his associate's degree in liberal arts from CVCC in the spring, he plans to attend a four-year college.
The results do not include advance voting.
The board's District 5 seat also was up for election this year, but candidate Rob Varner, vice president of Synovus Securities, ran unopposed as incumbent Fife Whiteside did not seek re-election.
The new representative will join the board in January 2009.