Lee, Davis and Bates top school board primary

Incumbent Lydia Lee and newcomers Jill Davis and Carla Bates were the top three vote-getters among nine candidates running for the Minneapolis School Board in the Sept. 9 primary election.

Sharon Henry-Blythe, the other incumbent in the race, Kari Reed and Doug Mann also will advance to the Nov. 4 general election, according to unofficial results reported by Hennepin County Wednesday morning. With only six slots on the general election ballot, it appeared Allison Johnson, Mary Buss and Thomas Dicks were eliminated from the race.

The six candidates who advance will vie for three open school board seats. Board members are elected at-large and serve two-year terms.

Lee, a former middle school math teacher and current chair of the school board, earned 23.22 percent of the 93,396 votes cast Tuesday, according to the unofficial tally. Davis finished second with 20.34 percent of the vote and Bates was third with 17.57 percent of the vote.

Davis, a social services coordinator, and Bates, an information technology professional, are both parents of Minneapolis Public Schools students and serve on the District Parent Advisory Council, a group of parents who meet regularly with Superintendent Bill Green to discuss and advise on district policy.

The top three candidates finished well ahead of the other challengers, which may bode well for their chances on Election Day.

Henry-Blythe, a policy research director for a local non-profit group, earned 10.43 percent of the vote. Reed, a home-schooling mother of five, and Mann, a licensed practical nurse, finished with 6.71 and 6.16 percent of the vote, respectively.

Local election results can be viewed on the Hennepin County website, www.hennepin.us.