HOWELL – Incumbents Al Miller and Denise Lowe, and newcomer Ira Thor won three-year terms on the Howell K-8 School District Board of Education in the Nov. 7 election.
Lowe received 6,183 votes, Miller received 5,847 votes and Thor received 5,709 votes in their successful bids. Thor was a winner in his second attempt to gain a seat on the board, after failing in his initial attempt in 2016.
Angel Sanchez, who was appointed to the board in July and was seeking a full term, fell short in his bid to remain on the panel, receiving 4,568 votes.
A one-year unexpired term that was on the ballot is expected to be filled by a write-in winner because no resident filed a nominating petition to run for that seat.
Assistant Superintendent Ronald Sanasac said about 500 write-in votes were cast throughout the district. The write-in votes are being tallied by the county and it was not known as of Nov. 10 when the winner of the one-year term will be declared, he said.
Commenting on her victory, Lowe said, “I first would like to thank the community for their vote of confidence in me. I also want to congratulate all the successful candidates, my running mate, Al Miller, and Ira Thor, along with thanking Angel Sanchez for his service to the board during his time.”
Lowe said she is looking forward to to working with the entire board again under the leadership of President Tim O’Brien.
“We will continue to work with our superintendent and the administration and the Howell school community on behalf our amazing students,” Lowe wrote in an email, adding “Howell Leads!”
Miller said, “I would like to thank Howell residents for their trust and support by re-electing me to the board. It is truly an honor to represent the students, staff and taxpayers of this great district. I would also like to congratulate Denise and Ira on their victory.”
Thor, who will join the board in January, said, “I am obviously very excited for the opportunity to serve. I really appreciate the 5,700-plus people in town who had confidence in me and a lot of them do not even know me. They had confidence in me and my leadership to give me the opportunity and I am not going to let them down. I am going to work really hard for the next three years.”
He said he is looking forward to working with the members of the board to “improve our schools” and “to come up with some common sense solutions.”
“Three years is not that long of a time. I have been on boards in the past and it flies by, so I want to make sure every moment counts,” Thor said.