|
Middletown Transcript
  • Abrams wins re-election to Appoquinimink school board

  • Norm Abrams won re-election to a second, five-year term on the Appoquinimink school board Tuesday, defeating political newcomer Debbie Harrington by a vote of 364 to 188.
    • email print
      Comment
  • Norm Abrams won re-election to a second, five-year term on the Appoquinimink school board Tuesday, defeating political newcomer Debbie Harrington by a vote of 364 to 188.
    “I want to thank everyone in Appoquinimink who came out and voted today,” the 49-year-old Townsend resident said after the results were announced. “Now the real work lays ahead over the next five years.”
    Abrams and Harrington both awaited the outcome of the election at the school district’s Marion Proffitt Training Center in Odessa, which came about an hour after the five-member school board completed its May meeting.
    “Now what you need to do is tell me how I can help,” Harrington told Abrams immediately after the New Castle County Department of Elections posted the final vote online.
    Harrington, a 57-year-old retired U.S. Army colonel who moved to Middletown in 2007, later said she feels good about winning 35 percent of the total ballots cast during her first foray into politics.
    “I absolutely love the democratic process and I like that we had a choice between two very good candidates,” she said. “But what saddens me, we have more than 9,000 students in the district and only 552 people voted in this election. We, as a community, have to have more to say about what happens to our kids.”
    Tuesday’s election was the first head-to-head school contest for a seat on the Appoquinimink school board since incumbent Julie Johnson defeated Valerie Jones-Rabb. Only 261 votes were cast in that election.
    Prior to that, the last head-to-head school board race was in 2007 when 223 ballots were cast.
    Every other school board race since then has attracted at least four candidates.
    Abrams on Tuesday also became the first incumbent school member to win re-election since 2010.
    Kelly Wright upset two-term incumbent Edna Cale in last year’s four-way school board election, while the incumbents chose not to run for re-election in 2011 and 2012.
    Abrams victory Tuesday also added to the near-perfect track record of district employee unions, which have now endorsed the winning candidate in four of the last five Appoquinimink school board elections.
    That endorsement and the ensuing support from the teachers union, which included phone calls to likely voters, may have buoyed Abrams, who faced a strong media campaign from Harrington that included flyers, as well as print and digital advertising.
    A long-time president of the Townsend Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, Abrams was first elected to the school board in 2009 when he beat out two-term incumbent Ed Czerwinski and three other candidates, following a failed bid for office the prior year.
    The father of three, who works as a systems controller for Delmarva Power, is currently serving as the school board president, a one-year post to which he was elected by his fellow board members last July.

        calendar