TOP STORY >> Blackwood fails to get re-elected
Leader staff writer
Hard campaigning and the help of friends and family made the difference said winners in the Cabot and Beebe School Board elections, who easily won over their opponents Tuesday night.
In Cabot, Wendel Msall, an airline pilot who is retired from the Air Force, won 736 to 458 over developer Steve Blackwood who was running for a second term.
Msall attributes his win to the help of parents, students and some teachers who told him they felt disconnected from the school board and administrators and then worked to put him on the board.
“A school is really made up of teachers imparting their knowledge to students,” Msall said after Tuesday’s results came in, adding that his message as he campaigned was that whether that knowledge was imparted in a new building, an old building, an igloo or a teepee was irrelevant.
Msall also credits his wife and campaign manger, Vicki, for his win over Blackwood.
He also thanked Blackwood for his five years of service to the district.
“This is an unpaid position and Steve is a very busy guy,” he said.
Blackwood could not be reached for comment.
In Beebe, Lucy Mahoney won 54 percent of the votes in a four-candidate race. In a breakdown of the count, Mahoney received 496 votes.
Former school board member Janet Warner, who served a little longer than the usual five-year term because of the consolidation with the McRae School District, received 228 votes.
Herman Blackmon finished third with 110 votes and Johnny Black finished last with 94 votes.
Mahoney said Tuesday after the votes were counted that the weeks of hard campaigning were exhausting, but worth the effort.
“Every day after work and every Saturday [I campaigned] and I didn’t stop until it got dark,” Mahoney said.
Now she is ready to direct her energy to serving in the position she worked so hard to win.
“I have no reservations about anything,” she said. “I’m ready to go to work.”
Mahoney, an X-ray technician, said she campaigned door-to-door all over the district, in Garner, McRae, Beebe, El Paso, Floyd, Stoney Point and Opal, but she was still surprised that she had dodged a runoff election.
“With four candidates, I really expected there would be a runoff,” she said.
In other races, Phillip Williams won over Ken Madden 362-352 for the Searcy School Board.
In Carlisle, Terry McCallie won over Samantha Jennings 26-14 in Position 3; Jeff Daniels won over David Herring 34-18 in Position 6; and Blake Swears won over Kyle Moery 26-17 in Position 7.