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Write-in candidate wins Iroquois election

Two write-in candidates emerged Tuesday for an uncontested school board seat in the Iroquois school district.

Jane Sullivan collected 113 votes to top the field which consisted of 56 names, many who received only one vote.

Sullivan was not present as the ballots were tabulated but accepted the position when Superintendent Douglas Scofield reached her by phone.

Jeff Toy also ran a write-in campaign and garnered 71 votes.

Tom DiScipio, the board member who decided not to run for reelection, earned 30 votes.

Board president Charles Specht said he doesn’t personally know her but he welcomes Sullivan to the board.

“No matter what the outcome was, it all works,” said Specht. “I’m sure she’s going to be a great addition.”

The two candidates used social media to express their interest in running as write-in candidates for the open board seat in the Iroquois school district.

Scofield said both candidates emerged after The Buffalo News reported it Wednesday.

“They put their names out on social media to inform as much of the community as possible,” Scofield said.

Reaction from voters about the board situation was mixed; some were aware there were no candidates but others didn’t know until they saw the ballot.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on with it,” said Doug Armstrong, who said he votes every year and brought his daughters to see the voting process firsthand.

Linda Leslie was aware that there was an uncontested seat but didn’t know about the write-in campaigns.

“My husband joked we should write our names in,” Leslie said.

According to board president Charles Specht, DiScipio is willing to stay on the board for an additional year if a write-in candidate declines to serve.

That would suit Mike Clabeaux just fine; the district resident has a favorable view of the incumbent, but believes new home construction should build the tax base and reduce taxes.

“Within one mile of my house there were 12 new houses built last year,” Clabeaux said. “And the budget keeps going up.”

Scofield reported around 7 p.m. that turnout is similar to last year, adding he hoped to see more residents.

“I’m always an advocate for the more voters the better,” Scofield said. “We want to hear what the community has to say and this is one of the main forums to tell us in which direction they’d like the district to go.”