The two contested races for the Olympia School Board were both too close to call in early returns Tuesday night.
Incumbent Mark Campeau held a slight lead over challenger Scott Clifthorne in the race for District No. 5.
“It is very close,” said Campeau, who is a real-time energy trader for Tacoma Power, and was elected to the School Board in 2008. “About 50 votes out of 5,000. It’s so close it could go either way.”
Clifthorne, president of the parent-teacher organization at Lincoln Options Elementary School, could not be reached for comment. He is a union contract negotiator, and owns part of a recreational marijuana farm near Rochester.
Never miss a local story.
In the school board’s other race, only about 150 votes divided Hilary Seidel and Ann Heitkemper for the District No. 4 seat. The winner will replace of Justin Montermini, who did not seek reelection.
Seidel, who works for the Office of Educator Growth and Development at the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, was in the lead.
“It’s a strong lead, and I believe our hard work at engaging voters through the campaign and in the last few days will result in a positive outcome,” Seidel said.
Heitkemper, a biology professor at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, was not available for comment.
Leslie Huff was elected after her opponent Katie Bridges dropped out of the race for Director District No. 3. However, Bridges’ name remained on the ballot and she still received nearly 3,000 votes in the early returns.