Newcomer Jill Shudak joined three incumbents in winning four-year terms on the Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education after garnering 2,927 votes — the highest total — in the school election Tuesday, according to preliminary results from the Pottawattamie County Auditor's Office, who had 22 precincts counted at press time.
The three incumbents running for another term — President David Coziahr, Vice President Chris LaFerla and past President Troy Arthur — were re-elected with vote totals of 2,422, 2,069 and 2,020, respectively. Coziahr was seeking his fifth term, LaFerla was seeking his second term and Arthur was seeking his third term. Board member Bill Grove did not run for re-election.
Richard Dallinger, who has run for the board several times, again fell short with 1,351 votes. Ryan Batt, who campaigned as a write-in candidate, received 355 votes, coming in last.
Shudak said she was “very honored” to be elected.
“I would like to thank my friends, family and everyone who supported me by donating to my campaign or volunteered to help knock doors,” she said. “With their help, we were able to reach out to over 3,200 households and hear their concerns. During my campaign, I took time to speak with the residents of the district and share my views as to what I think we need to do to make Council Bluffs a better place to learn, live and work.”
Shudak also thanked Emerge Iowa, which provided support and training on running for office.
“I am excited to join the board and begin working to make our district the best it can be for the students and staff,” she said.
Coziahr said he was ready to serve another term.
“I think the most important thing right now is, because there’s going to be at least one new member, to bring the new board member up to speed,” he said. “There’s so much information that comes out every week.”
Members need to make the new member part of the board’s ongoing efforts to work well as a team, Coziahr said.
“I’m looking forward to at least one new voice that can bring new perspective to a well-established board,” he said.