Incumbents John Alpay and Gary Pritchard will join newcomers Jim Reardon and Amy Hanacek on the Capistrano Unified school board, according to unofficial election results early Wednesday morning.
In the end, the voting patterns of the school board are not likely to change. The board often votes 5-2, especially on fiscal matters. Reardon, a regular critic of the board, takes the place of retiring Sue Palazzo, a frequent member of the minority vote.
Hanacek, the other newcomer, is expected to vote in step with Alpay and Pritchard. All three were endorsed by the teachers' union.
This year was the first time voters could not vote at large for each seat up for grabs but could cast a vote only for the candidates running in their area. The school district is divided into seven trustee areas, so voters in some areas, such as Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel and parts of San Juan Capistrano could not vote this time around.
Here’s how the races broke down:
Trustee Area No. 1– Dana Point, Capo Beach, San Juan Capistrano
When Trustee Jack Brick decided to hang it up, he opened the seat for two challengers, Hanacek and independent Karin Schnell. With 41 of 41 precincts reporting, here's how the race concluded:
AMY HANACEK 9,448 67.7% KARIN SCHNELL 4,504 32.3%
Trustee Area No. 2 – Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistrano
This seat was redistricted earlier this year to have no incumbent. Three candidates were vying for it, but only two, McCormick and Reardon, put money into the effort. (Candidate Michele Taylor-Bible dropped out of the race last month, but her name still appeared on the ballot.)
With all 33 precints reporting, Reardon finished with just about the same lead he had at the first of the evening's reporting.
JIM REARDON 7,144 49.2% CAROL L. MCCORMICK 3,487 24.0% DON FRANKLIN RICHARDSON 2,888 19.9% MICHELE TAYLOR-BIBLE 1,012 7.0%
Reardon came out of the gate with 50 percent of the votes tallied, which he took as a positve sign.
"I'm happy with the margin. That's a difficult margin to overcome," he said before the third wave of results.
Reardon specifically targeted his campaign toward absentee voters and Republicans.
He said despite the obvious differences, he's ready to work with the new board.
"I can work with anyone," Reardon said.
Trustee Area No. 3 – San Clemente
Alpay was elected in 2010 to fulfill the term left when voters recalled Mike Winsten. His only serious challenger, Steve Lang, self-financed his campaign. Yolanda McNamara did not actively campaign.
With all 37 precints reporting, the results showed Alpay holding his lead throughout the evening.
JOHN ALPAY 8,000 48.2% STEVE R. LANG 7,023 42.4% YOLANDA MCNAMARA 1,558 9.4%
Trustee Area No. 5 – Aliso Viejo
Pritchard was also elected to serve out a term vacated when Ken Lopez Maddox was recalled in 2010. He faced one challenger in Bill Perkins.
With all 31 precints reporting, Pritchard led early and never let go.
GARY PRITCHARD 7,043 59.0% WILLIAM "BILL" PERKINS 4,899 41.0%