After the votes were tallied, Bridgeport ISD had two new school board members Saturday night.
Scott Hiler and Steve Stanford won places 6 and 7, respectively.
Stanford beat out three candidates – Loretta Hill, Robert Marlett and Steven Lara – to claim the seat vacated when incumbent Marti Hines chose not to run.
Hiler defeated 15-year board veteran Ken Kilpatrick and former Bridgeport mayor Donald Majka.
Kilpatrick said the voters made their choice. He said he plans to move on and wishes Hiler all the best.
“When you’re in a political race it’s a yes or no,” Kilpatrick said. “The voters run the board just like the city. Scott will do a great job.”
Hiler said he was excited, and added that his first job as a new board member is getting acclimated to his new responsibilities and understanding what is required. His first board meeting is 7 p.m. May 19.
“Ken called to congratulate me and wish me well. I’m not really sure what led to that in my success. I led a positive campaign, and Ken and Majka led one too,” Hiler said. “There might have been a sense in the community to have more members on the board that have kids in the district.”
He said his family is excited for his win, but admittedly his three young daughters might not fully understand what all the hubbub is about.
“My wife and I view this as a family commitment and opportunity to further serve the community,” Hiler said.
Hiler also volunteers at his daughter’s school with D.O.G.S. and with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Hiler and Stanford will be sworn in May 19. Stanford is assistant chief for the Bridgeport Police Dept. and believes his experience in law enforcement as well as his Christian beliefs have prepared him for the board.
“I have a great sense of ‘service before self,’” Stanford said. “I want to serve our district with excellence and be a small piece to help raise the standard for Bridgeport ISD. I believe my current profession will only have a positive effect on my position as a trustee. I have a great understanding of leadership and management in the public sector, as well as the ability to filter personal agendas.”
Stanford said with budget season on the horizon, his first priority after some training is to get up-to-date on where the district is fiscally.
Stanford said he believes the voter turnout indicates some change is needed in the district and shows people care.