Paul Cantrell was the only incumbent re-elected to the Chico School Board in Saturday’s election, and he says it’s “lonely.”
Cantrell won the race for Place 3 with 42.04 percent of the votes. He received 140 votes while challengers Greta McDaniel received 126 and Victor Gonzales 67.
“The other guys are gone, but we’ll work with a new bunch,” he said. “I’m assuming that (the transition) will go well. I don’t know the new people coming on the board well enough to give an opinion on that.”
Early voting numbers gave Cantrell the win. He received 108 to McDaniel’s 75 and Gonzales’ 27. On election day, Cantrell received only 32 votes, while McDaniel and Gonzales had 51 and 40 votes, respectively.
The longtime board member said he wants to see the school continue in the current direction.
“We have an excellent administration staff and our programs, like athletics and agriculture, are really good,” Cantrell said. “I hope we can continue to go in the direction that we’re going.”
The tightest races were for Places 4 and 5. Donald Clark defeated Noel Ruddick for Place 4 with 51.36 percent of the vote, and Bill Hand won Place 5 with 53.61 percent of the vote over Craig Moss.
In both races, the incumbents had the lead after early voting. Moss had 111 votes to Hand’s 98, but Hand topped Moss on election day 80 to 43.
Ruddick secured 116 votes in early voting while Clark had 92, but the tables turned on election day with Clark receiving 78 more votes and Ruddick garnering only 45.
This is Clark’s first time to run for office, and he anticipates a challenge.
“I’m going to go up there and see what we can do,” he said. “It’s going to be new.”
Cantrell said he felt like the learning curve of the new members would be the biggest factor in the transition.
“I’m glad I won, and we’ll just have to see how things are going before I can say anything about my plans,” said Hand. “I’d like to use my expertise to improve it if I can. Since I’ve been a principal, athletic director and school teacher, I think some of my experiences would be beneficial in keeping our school going in the right direction.
“I think all of us can work together for the benefit of the school district.”