Record numbers vote in LISD election
Flores and Manning unseated as Pittman trounces competition
By LPR Staff
Two incumbent Lockhart ISD trustees lost their seats in Saturday’s elections as voters hit the polls in record numbers to make their wishes known.
Voter turnout increased 37.5 percent over 2006’s election for the three at large seats on the LISD Bo
ard of Trustees, with a total of 4,135 votes cast between the eight candidates vying for seats on the board. Although official election returns will not be available until votes are canvassed on May 18, the district’s “three votes per voter” rule suggests that nearly 1,380 voters visited the polls this year, a marked increase over the 1,002 who voted in 2006. Voter totals also show an increase over last year’s school board election, when 1,286 citizens voted in a joint election with the City of Lockhart.
The increase in voter turnout may be largely attributed to growing concern over board activities in the last several years. The board has been battered by public criticism over the perceived revolving door in the Superintendent’s office prior to Dr. Jose Parra’s taking the reins last summer. They also drew fire over the decision to rename a campus after a community leader last fall.
Chip Pittman, a newcomer to the political arena, closed the day with the lion’s share of the votes, shoring up 38.5 percent (1,591) of voters’ support.
Suggesting a public desire for fresh voices on the board, another newcomer, Tom Guyton, also earned a seat on the board. Guyton garnered 675 votes, or around 16.3 percent of the total vote.
Juan Alvarez, Jr., who was elected in 2006, was the only trustee to win re-election, gathering 631 votes (15.3 percent).
Because of the rules governing at-large elections to the LISD board, the top three vote-getters win seats, regardless of whether they win a majority of the vote. Pittman, Guyton and Alvarez will be sworn in during the board’s regular meeting on Monday, May 18.
The five remaining candidates in the election split just over 34 percent of the vote.
Carl Cisneros, in his second bid for a seat on the board, fell 101 votes short of election, earning 530 votes (12.8 percent).
Longtime trustee and seated board vice president John Flores lost the seat he has occupied for a decade. Flores gathered 451 votes (10.9 percent).
Incumbent trustee John Manning completed his first term on the board but fell far short of re-election, earning only 187 votes (4.5 percent).
Former trustee Dennis Placke also failed in his effort to return to the boardroom, receiving 172 votes (4.1 percent).
Finally, political unknown Duane Limbaugh earned 70 votes to round out voting totals.
The newly-elected trustees will serve for three years. The next LISD Board of Trustees election will take place in 2011, when the four single-member district seats will be open for election.
The Lockhart Independent School District Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at Lockhart High School. The meetings are open to the public and are also available via webcast at www.lockhartisd.org.