Montrose voters are deciding the fate of the school board after a contentious election with more campaign spending than all of the previous elections combined. A conservative slate — Andrew Neal, Cortney Loyd and Dawn Schieldt — ran on the same platform to challenge the status quo.
Eric Kelley and Sarah Fishering are vying to retain their seats, while Alice Murphy is seeking to replace fellow retired teacher Gail Johnson on the board.
Neal, Loyd and Schieldt initially led the fundraising efforts, placing hundreds of yard signs around Montrose. Fishering and Murphy — as well as their supporters — responded in full force, raising similar amounts of money for yard signs and campaign literature.
The results will reveal if the heightened spending on the election correlates with higher voter turnout, which is historically low in odd-year elections. Within the past 10 years, the participation rate among registered voters has not peaked over 50 percent.
This page will be updated as results come in.
Last updated: Nov. 2 at 11:28 p.m.
Total counts are unofficial. The final update of the evening includes all of the ballots that were processed on the night of the election, but does not count numbers from adjacent counties included within the RE-1J boundaries or ballots with invalid signatures.
School board election results
Montrose County School Board District A
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Montrose County School Board District C
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Montrose County School Board District E
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Montrose County School Board District F
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Montrose County School Board District G
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Amendment 78 (Constitutional)
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Proposition 119 (Statutory)
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Proposition 120 (Statutory)
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Brief narrative updates will be published here as the night goes on.
Nov. 2 at 7:18 p.m.:
Sarah Fishering and Alice Murphy are anxiously waiting for results while surrounded by supporters at Horsefly.
"I'm just refreshing the (election results page) over and over again. My index finger is getting tired," Fishering said.
"I'm ready for this whole process to be over," Murphy said.
Nov. 2 at 7:28 p.m.:
Nov. 2 at 7:50 p.m.:
The trio of conservative candidates are hanging out with some of their supporters at the county courthouse. Although initial counts have them trailing their opponents, they remain in good spirits.
“It’s still a long way to go, I’m not going to put too much thought into the initial count,” Andrew Neal said. “We’ll see what the next dump says.”
Cortney Loyd remained in good spirits.
Dawn Schieldt was glad that more people voted in the election and exercised their civic right to vote.
“The outcome doesn’t matter,” Schieldt said — she’s still going to be involved regardless of how the election shakes out.