Madison voters made the right choice when they re-elected School Board President James Howard with 76 percent of the vote — giving an overwhelming margin of victory to a serious and effective board member. And, as expected, voters elected education activist T.J. Mertz, a newcomer to the board whose opponent quit the contest.
But the third race, between Dean Loumos and Wayne Strong, remains unsettled.
Out of more than 36,000 votes cast in the race, only 279 votes separate the two candidates. With absentee ballots to be counted and a canvas of the returns to be completed, either candidate could yet win.
We endorsed Strong in the race, recognizing the retired police lieutenant’s record of community involvement and his commitment to safety initiatives that are essential to keeping public schools strong. We were, as well, impressed by Strong’s focus on coming up with new approaches to discipline that will look for ways to ensure that students who get into trouble can continue to be educated.
But we were also impressed with Loumos, who shares Strong’s passion for public education and for ensuring that the school district gets more serious about addressing the achievement gap.
These are two fine candidates. Madison can wait a little longer for all the votes to be counted — and recounted if necessary. The winner will have plenty of work ahead of him, and we hope that both these contenders will remain active in the service of Madison’s young people and the schools that educate them.
Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.