And then there were six.
With early voting and election day precincts reporting, Patricia Ann Dorsey, Bob Lord, Tara Battaglia, Mary Kowalski, Kenneth Kiler and Doug Howard will advance to the general election in November in the Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education race after knocking out five other candidates.
Dorsey, a retired elementary school principal, came in with the highest number of votes — 10,685 — followed by Lord, the current BOE president and owner of Lord Industries, a graphic arts business, with 6,947 votes.
Battaglia, a parent and community activist, received 5,910 votes; Kowalski, a former CCPS employee and current citizen activist, got 5,658 votes; Kiler, an executive at CJ Miller and founder of the Manchester Wrestling program, had 5,277 votes; and Howard, a current county commissioner and a business consultant with Remodelers Advantage, garnered 5,254 votes.
Provisional and absentee ballots still needed to be counted.
Dorsey said she takes her win with a lot of gratitude and thanks to the people who gave her the opportunity.
“I’m very humbled and very thankful that folks are moving me forward,” she said.
From the comments she’d been hearing, Dorsey said she was feeling “pretty comfortable” heading into the election.
Dorsey said she’s spent a lot of time in the system, and people saw and appreciated her commitment over the years.
“I’ve devoted basically my entire life — my entire working career, anyway — to education,” she said.
Lord, the lone incumbent running, said he was feeling good Tuesday night as results rolled in.
“I’m very pleased that the voters of Carroll County have put their trust in me,” Lord said. “It reinforces all the hard work that I have done over the past four years.”
Battaglia said she was an “emotional wreck” as the votes were being counted, and said she’s thankful to everyone that voted.
She said she was prepared for either way the results went, especially because she did not get some of the big endorsements.
“I just ran as being a mom,” she said, later adding, “let’s move ahead.”
Howard said the objective of the primary was to move forward to the November race, and he did that.
“We've got a lot of work to do for the general,” he said, adding that he’s excited to be in the rush for the race.
Kowalski did not immediately return call for comment.
Kiler said he was feeling great after seeing the results Tuesday. He said while he hasn’t seen the results by precinct, hopefully the area he’s from — the North Carroll area — helped him out.
“My job now is to convince the rest of the county that I deserve to be the top three,” Kiler said, later adding, “I really want to do this job.”
Kiler said he’s had so many volunteers that worked hard to help get him through.
“I just felt like I owed it to them to make it through to the general election,” he said.
For some, Tuesday’s focus was the gubernatorial and state races — but for others, local races, like the school board, were what got them to the polls.
Carol Kelly said she voted Tuesday because the race for Board of Education was important to her as a former teacher. She said she was supporting Lord, Dorsey and Muri Dueppen.
Kelly said teacher salaries still need an increase, or else CCPS will keep losing teachers, “Like my son,” she says, “he left for a government job.”
Jerry Caple was also interested in the school board race, and came out to Cranberry Station Elementary knowing who he was voting for when he walked in. He was felt particularly strong about Dorsey for BOE, who worked with his sister at William Winchester.
Even two years after the fact, school closures were another driver that got community members interested in the BOE race.
Adora and Peyton Allen — mother and son — said they were interested in the school board elections. Peyton Allen graduated from the now-closed North Carroll High School in 2015. He has two siblings now at Manchester Valley High School.
Adora Allen said voted for Kiler, Jason Helton and Battaglia, because “they’re from North Carroll and we need a voice.” Allen said Manchester Valley High is very crowded for her other two children.
“I need to vote because I can’t complain if I don’t vote,” Adora Allen said.
A total of 11 candidates ran for three open seats on the Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education.
The five who did not make it through were Cathey Allison, who had 4,800 votes; Dueppen, who had 4,523 votes; Helton, who had 2,321 votes; Donald Garmer, who had 1,983 votes; and Michael Yokay, who suspended his campaign but his name still appeared on the ballot, had 837 votes.
Carroll County Times reporters Jon Kelvey and Catalina Righter contributed to this article.