Bauer edges Preston in Longview ISD race, provisional ballots still out
By Staff Reports
May 7, 2016 at 8:11 p.m.
Updated May 7, 2016 at 10:06 p.m.
Shandreka “Shan” Bauer appears to have pulled off a narrow upset — by three votes — to take the Place 5 seat on the Longview ISD board of trustees.
Bauer, a political newcomer, received 123 votes to longtime incumbent John Preston’s tally of 120 in the race to represent southeastern central Longview, according to unofficial vote totals after Saturday’s elections.
The totals are not official until canvassed, and election officials said five provisional ballots would be considered Friday. Provisional ballots are those used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility.
“I am very excited and blessed to be ahead by three,” Bauer said. “I am anxious to see how the provisionals go so I can get started. We just have to keep our faith, and Friday we will come out victorious.”
As a newcomer, Bauer faced disadvantages in name recognition and money. Fund-raising reports for the period from January through early April showed Preston outraised Bauer by about 30 percent, $1,500 to $1,115.
“It was a good race, a hard battle,” Preston said. “It ain’t over yet. I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed that I get four unconditional votes.”
In her campaign, Bauer said one of her key goals as a trustee would be to enable communication among district patrons, trustees, administrators and teachers. Now, she said, communication is “nonexistent.”
According to the unofficial totals, Preston edged Bauer by three votes in early balloting, 77-74. But she rallied on election day, 49-43.
Included in the early vote totals were absentee ballots, which Preston also won 44-35.
Preston was first elected to the board in 1988, and Bauer’s challenge was the first for his seat in 18 years.
The Place 6 seat, which represents southwestern Longview, also was up for election this cycle. Trustee Ted Beard, who was first elected in 1993, did not draw a challenger and will continue on the board for another term.