Clark County still has more than 100,000 ballots to count, but the makeup of the School Board appears to have been decided.
Incumbent Lola Brooks, who currently serves as board president, is poised to retain her seat from a challenge by an outspoken teacher. Joining her on the board will be three political newcomers, including one right-wing firebrand who has made a name for herself with fiery social media posts.
As of Thursday, former military recruiter and dethroned pageant queen Katie Williams held a commanding 19,819-vote lead over Jeffrey Proffitt, business manager at Sheet Metal Workers Local 88. Williams will succeed term-limited Trustee Chris Garvey to represent District B.
Proffitt maintained a sizable fundraising advantage throughout campaigning and he secured a long, diverse list of endorsements. But he secured 39 percent of votes to Williams’ 61 percent.
Williams has publicly acknowledged her apparent win, which drew instant pushback from some within the local education community. She tweeted in response to one critic: “I was elected to do a Job and speak for those who clearly have been left out of the conversation! 61% That’s the majority that #CCSD has left behind. I’m here for kids, not adults with ego trips.”
She also tweeted: “People degraded me daily, but I didn’t care because I knew I was right. The district needs help and I want to thank all the voters who believed in me and who cast their votes for me.”
Williams also changed her Twitter name to “Katie Williams – Mostly Peaceful Elect,” an apparent reference to a CNN chyron used during the Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier this year.
The second biggest lead comes in District E. Incumbent Lola Brooks, who is also currently board president, is maintaining a sizable lead over outspoken teacher Alexis Salt. Brooks was up 57 percent to Salt’s 43 percent as of Thursday. The gap between the candidates is 14,504 votes.
Salt conceded in a post addressed to her supporters on Facebook: “While the results are not what we wanted, I am proud of the campaign we ran.”
Salt hoped to bring her perspective as a 14-year teacher within the Clark County School District. Brooks in her campaign emphasized board continuity during a time of intense uncertainty with the ongoing pandemic and possible transition back to in-person learning.
Brooks in a Twitter post acknowledged her lead but stopped short of declaring victory, saying instead that “final election results won’t be available until all the votes are counted. Let’s wait until every vote is counted.”
Over in District A, Lisa Guzman led Liberty Leavitt 53 to 47 percent — or 6,666 votes — as of Thursday.
Leavitt has conceded defeat. The former teacher and wife of former state Sen. Michael Roberson congratulated Guzman via a statement: “I look forward to seeing Lisa represent District A, and I am hopeful that she will help turn CCSD around. Join me in supporting Lisa as she enters into an incredibly tough role during turbulent times.”
Guzman is assistant executive director of the Nevada State Education Association and executive director of the Education Support Employees Association. She has said she plans to continue in her role with NSEA but will hand over any work involving ESEA to other directors within the statewide union. ESEA represents the support staff employed by CCSD.
The tightest race occurs in District C, where Evelyn Garcia Morales led Tameka Henry 53 percent to 47 percent — a difference of 3,295 votes.
Garcia Morales is the executive director of The Fulfillment Fund, a nonprofit focused on college access. She has not declared victory and noted on Twitter that she is “patiently waiting until every ballot is counted & official results are released.”
Henry is a longtime advocate for Head Start, a federal program focused on early childhood education for children in low-income families.