UPDATED: Voters choose Caplan, Butler for school board
November 11, 2016
Andrew Caplan and Petra Butler appear set to become the newest members of the Park City Board of Education, if preliminary results hold.
Caplan topped Peter Yogman in the District 2 race by getting 56.87 percent (1,238 votes) of the vote to Yogman's 43.13 percent (939 votes), according to the preliminary results from the Summit County Clerk's office. In District 3, Petra Butler earned 53.44 percent of vote (1,243 votes) to best Moe Hickey, a former school board member who tallied 46.56 percent of the vote (1,038 votes).
It is likely those results will not change, but as of Thursday afternoon, the Summit County Clerk's office had yet to count 10 mail-in ballots that were delivered after Election Day and up to 340 provisional ballots countywide. It is unclear how many of those ballots were from residents in Park City Board of Education precincts. Canvassers must certify the election results by Nov. 22.
Phil Kaplan, who was unopposed, retained his seat in District 1.
Caplan said in an email that he is eager to begin serving the children and families in Park City.
"This campaign has been a learning experience and has shown me how passionate members of this community are about education," he said. "We live in such a special town where parents, grandparents and all citizens care so much about their children and neighbors that we have the ability to innovate and push the envelope for what is possible at our schools."
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Butler said Wednesday that she was in a little bit of a shock when she first looked at the results. She was a newcomer to the public arena during this election cycle and did not expect so many voters to embrace her message. She said the hours she spent knocking on doors and getting to know voters and the issues likely put her over the top.
"I wanted people to know that I was really dedicated to doing this," she said. "I'm one of those people who, if I choose to do something, I'm all in. You even saw me standing on a corner one day. I wanted people to know this is something I'm very passionate about."
Reached Tuesday evening, Yogman and Hickey seemed disappointed at the results, but wished their competitors well.
Yogman said it appeared Caplan, who has two young children, benefitted from a strong turnout from parents of school-aged children. Throughout the campaign, Caplan said the age of his children would make him better able to represent young families. That was an argument Yogman, whose children graduated from Park City schools, disputed but that may have ultimately been decisive.
"I knew that was going to be an uphill battle, and I think they just feel more comfortable and identify with him," said Yogman.
He added that he's confident Caplan will serve his constituents well on the school board.
"I'm sure he'll do a great job," Yogman said. "He's a smart guy, and I'm sure that he will focus and do really well by the schools. And we need the schools to do really well."
Hickey, who served on the board for seven years before relinquishing his seat last year when he moved out of his district, said it seemed voters latched on to Butler's message of bringing change to the school board. Despite that, he was proud to have run on his record.
"Maybe people still felt the impact of the bond failing and felt that I was tied to that," he said, referring to the school district's bond election that voters rejected by a wide margin last November. "… I think there's a general feeling with people that things need to change on the school board. I don't know that they actually thought about what those changes are on the whole."
He added that he's hopeful Butler's time on the board proves successful.
"I wish Petra well," he said.
In the District 1 race in the South Summit School District, Suni Woolstenhulme (56.73 percent, 350 votes) bested Eric Rose (43.27 percent, 267 votes), according to the preliminary results. In District 2, Dan Eckert defeated Cynthia Card with 54.39 percent of the vote (359 votes) to Card's 45.61 percent (301 votes). Jim Snyder ran unopposed in District 3.
In the North Summit School District, Susan Richins, Mark Marsh and Heather Staley ran unopposed.