Graham and Henderson Hang onto Board Seats; Guerrant Ousts Edsall

Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 8:01 am
By: 
Karessa Wheeler

Above: left to right, Graham, Henderson, and Guerrant

UPDATE: It appears that, in fact, Nichole Henderson edged out Kyle Guerrant by 16 votes. Read more.

East Lansing Board of Education Trustees Erin Graham and Hillary Henderson have retained their seats for another four years. But Trustee Kath Edsall has lost her seat to Kyle Guerrant, according to unofficial election results provided by the Ingham County Clerk’s office.

Graham received the largest number of votes with 6,810 (18.21%) cast for her, followed by Henderson with 6,240 (16.69%) and Guerrant with 5,626 (15.05%).

Candidate Nichole Martin came in fourth with 5,584 votes and Edsall received 5,445, putting her in fifth place. Mike Conlin received 4,936 votes and Robert Clark received 2,557.

There were 190 write-in votes of the 37,388 votes cast for school board.

The results divided the three candidates who were running as a slate – Henderson, Guerrant and Martin. While Edsall and Graham were not running together, they supported each other staying on the Board and appeared to have a similar base of support.

Guerrant had run for the Board four years earlier but failed to get elected then. He is Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the State of Michigan and has three children in the District.

All seven candidates took part in three voter forums and had addressed issues as wide-ranging as the student achievement/opportunity gap, diversity of the teaching staff, the state of the elementary school buildings and the future of a bond proposal slated for the ballot next spring.

The only issue with which Edsall significantly differed from the other candidates was the use of the currently closed Red Cedar Elementary School. She would like to see it used as a K-5 facility again and believes the District can support six elementary schools. The other candidates propose using the building for early education, or leasing it for other educational programming.  

In other East Lansing election news, yesterday the Lansing State Journal and Mother Jones reported news of possible voter intimidation of minority-ethnicity voters in East Lansing, including of two Muslim women and possibly also an African-American man at East Lansing’s Precinct 17.