Voters re-elected three incumbents to the Wichita school board Tuesday – including one who said he wanted to lose.
District 4 board member Jeff Davis defeated Joshua Blick by nearly 2,000 votes, according to unofficial election results.
Davis said last month that he would not have filed to run again if he had known his opponent was running. He didn’t campaign for re-election, and at every opportunity, he endorsed his opponent. Davis’ name remained on the ballot because he missed the deadline to have it removed.
Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Davis, a retired police sergeant, said he wasn’t watching election returns.
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“I’m out back in my hot tub, drinking a Gatorade,” he said. “What’s going on?”
Davis, who was first elected to the school board in 2007, represents portions of south and southwest Wichita. But in the general election, school board members are elected district-wide. He said he filed for a third term because he didn’t think anyone else would run.
“If I do win … I will do what the voters want and I will serve my four years,” Davis said Tuesday evening.
“I haven’t done any campaigning. This was Josh’s race to win,” he said. “He’s a great guy. If he wins, great. If I win, that’s what the voters wanted, so I will end up serving my four-year term. But after that, I’m done.”
Blick, a local business owner, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
In the race for the school board’s at-large seat, voters chose Sheril Logan, a retired administrator and the current board president, over her opponent, Michael Capps. With nearly all precincts reporting, Logan had captured about 63 percent of votes.
Barbara Fuller, the incumbent in District 3 in southeast Wichita, was unopposed.
Logan watched returns with friends and family members at the home of her campaign manager in west Wichita.
“We’re very happy that voters have confidence in electing me to the board again,” she said. “I talked to a lot of people during this campaign, and it’s just reinforced what I knew all along, and that is: Pay attention to what people are telling you.”
Logan said state funding would be one of the biggest issues facing the board, and board members may have to make some tough budget decisions in the months and years ahead.
“The fact that we’re growing every year by 300 to 500 students and we will get zero additional money for that – that’s going to be a problem,” Logan said. “We try very hard to make the right decisions, but you’re not going to always make everybody happy.”
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Capps chief executive of itKansas, a technology consulting firm, congratulated Logan and said he was pleased with the showing from his first campaign for elected office.
“A loss is always disappointing, but when you’re the challenger and you’re the unknown, 37 percent is not too bad,” Capps said.
“With that 37 percent, the message that we’ve got to clean up our budget and do more with less was definitely out there. It was resonating,” he said.
“But Ms. Logan and I both ran very clean and honorable campaigns, and I have the utmost respect for what she has done. I wish her the best.”