In Tuesday’s Edmond Public Schools board elections, Courtney Hobgood and Marcus Jones prevailed over their opponents — Cheryl Williams and Michael Grande — to win the EPS District 2 and District 5 seats, respectively.
Hobgood earned 2,068 votes to win the District 2 seat, topping Williams’ 1,304 votes. Jones, the District 5 incumbent, garnered 2,534 votes. Grande received 2,482 votes.
With a margin of just 52 votes separating Jones and Grande, Grande could request a formal recount of the election. Jones received 300 votes from absentee ballot votes, while Grande earned 142 votes from absentee ballots.
The election results listed online are unofficial until they are certified by the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Hobgood seeks ‘to be the voice for all’
Hobgood will replace Kathleen Duncan, who has held the District 2 seat for the last 20 years but did not seek reelection this year. If the unofficial results stand through a potential recount, Jones will hold onto his District 5 seat, which the EPS Board appointed him to after Meredith Exline resigned.
In a statement, Hobgood voiced excitement to begin her tenure on the board.
“Tonight I am so proud of Edmond. Thank you for showing up at the polls in a big way. We did it,” Hobgood said. “I’m motivated now more than ever to be the voice for all students, parents, teachers, administration and support staff.”
Williams also provided a statement.
“We met so many great people and certainly wanted a different outcome,” Williams said. “We wish Courtney well in this position.”
Hobgood and Jones have made public appearances together throughout the election process, promoting each other’s campaigns.
“Let’s just give them respect. It’s not always about money. It’s about letting them feel valued. It’s about letting them know that they’re needed and that they’re important,” Hobgood said during the forum.
During her campaign, Hobgood’s policy priorities included lowering the student-teacher ratio and continuing to promote social-emotional learning.
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Jones: ‘Prioritize our kids over politics’
In a statement Tuesday evening, Jones said he wants to focus on students.
“I’m grateful for the voters that showed up today to support Edmond’s kids. Thank you to every voter that trusted me with their vote,” Jones said. “I will continue to prioritize our kids over politics and appreciate the opportunity to continue serving on the Edmond Public Schools Board.”
Wednesday morning, Grande posted a statement to his Facebook page.
“It’s been an absolute honor to meet the thousands of parents, students, teachers, and patriots of this community. We have opened eyes and shown a light on the blatant sexuality of our kids,” Grande said. “I also hope that the working conditions and workload of our teachers improves greatly with the oversight of this new board. Thank you again for all who supported us.”
Both Jones and Hobgood have voiced support for teaching uncomfortable topics, but at an age appropriate level.
“As far as American history and things like that, we know that we have strengths, weaknesses and failures as a country, but we still have a rich history, and everything should be at an age-appropriate level when taught,” Jones said in an interview.
Jones has placed an emphasis on boosting specialized academic programs to create a feeling of belonging for students.
“When kids have something that they’re interested in, they excel in other areas of school, and they also find a value with school and a belonging,” Jones said.
(Update: This article was updated at 11:05 a.m., Wednesday, April 6, to include a statement from District 5 candidate Michael Grande.)