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Harford County

Races remain tight for the Harford Board of Education race amid final days of canvassing

As the Harford County Board of Elections finishes canvassing, candidates endorsed by a national conservative political action group focused on parental rights in schools, remain in the lead for two of the six seats up for grabs on the Harford Board of Education.

Previous early voting and Election Day totals had four of the Moms for Liberty candidates in the lead, but mail-in ballots, which tend to trend Democratic, flipped the lead in districts B and E.

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This follows the trend across the state where educator-backed school candidates have taken the lead or defeated extreme candidates.

Moms for Liberty chapters have been a part of nationwide efforts to ban certain books from class curriculum and school libraries that often deal with LGBTQ+ issues as well as racism and sexuality.

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“Unfortunately, we saw many candidates run for school board this year who were fixated on divisive and extreme political agendas – but thankfully many of these candidates were defeated on Election Day,” Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost said in a news release on Wednesday. “We were proud to support candidates focused on the things our students really need, like expanding career and technical education, making sure our schools are fully staffed, and providing additional support for struggling learners.”

In Frederick County, it appears that at least three out of four educator-backed candidates will defeat members of extremist Education Not Indoctrination candidates, dubbed the “Hate Slate” by Bost. In Baltimore County, however, educator-recommended candidates are on track to prevail against at least two of three far-right candidates running, Bost said. Extreme candidates also were defeated in Charles and Howard, among other counties, with more races still to be called, Bost said.

Here is a quick breakdown of the school board races in Harford that are close as of Thursday:

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Wade Sewell has now taken a slim lead over Dennis Barry, who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty, in the District B race. With the first day of canvassing concluded, Sewell has 6,610 votes to Barry’s 6,316 votes.

Carol Mueller is in the lead to keep her District C seat, with 7,792 votes. Kayla Mariskanish, who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty, trails with 6,535 votes.

Carol Bruce has pulled into the lead in District E with 5,980 votes. Tanya Tyo, who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty and was leading before Thursday’s count, now has 5,673 votes.

Diane Alvarez, who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty, is in the lead to represent District F with 6,706 votes. Sharon Jacobs is close behind with 5,933 votes.

The other two school board races have a large margin between the leader and runner-up.

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Denise Perry is in the lead to represent District A on the Board of Education with 5,938 votes. Stephen Puopolo is behind with 3,164 votes.

Melissa Hahn, who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty, is in the lead to represent District D with 11,246 votes. Ariane Kelly, who was running to retain her seat on the board, is far behind with 4,686 votes.


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