Three Leander ISD incumbent trustees win re-election, one is defeated

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

In highly contested races, three incumbent Leander ISD Board of Trustees won re-election in the November election – Place 1 Trish Bode, Place 2 Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia and Place 5 Sade Fashokun. Francesca Romans was elected to the open Place 6 seat and Place 7 incumbent Trustee Elexis Grimes was defeated by challenger Paul Gauthier.

Both Proposition A Attendance Credit Election and Proposition B Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election passed by 64.4% and 52.1% respectively.

Travis and Williamson counties reported final unofficial results of the November 8 midterm elections. 

Place 2 was the only two-way race while the rest were three-way races.

Place 2 was the closest race with Gonzales-Dholakia receiving 50.6% of the vote against challenger Brandi Burkman 49.3%.

“Serving on this board has been both one of the most challenging, and most rewarding experiences of my life,” Gonzales-Dholakia posted on Facebook. She is from River Place. “It has been an honor to serve with my fellow board members, past and present.”

In the Place 7 seat race, Gauthier tallied 35% of the vote, upsetting Grimes who got 31.6% and Joseph Gorordo with 33.3%.

“I want to thank all of my volunteers and family for the support they gave me during this campaign,” Grimes posted on Facebook. “These last four years have been a blessing serving the LISD community. Today the voters of LISD have chosen to take a different path. I pray the district finds a way to come together and focus on what is best for the students and teachers in our community.”

Place 1 Bode won decisively with 50.8% over Mike Sanders’ 32.5% and David Doman’s 16.6% of the vote.

“Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters  who helped me block walk, hold signs at polling locations, and all the many many things that go with running a campaign. It truly is my honor to serve this community and I am so thankful,” Bode posted on Wednesday morning on Facebook. She is from Steiner Ranch.

Place 5 Fashokun garnered 42.7% of the vote over Shawn Leege’s 34.2% and Kevin Leverenz’s 23%.

“The district has a lot to celebrate while working to improve access to a well-rounded quality public education, close the gaps in student achievement for all students, and enable all students to reach/exceed their full potential,” Fashokun posted on Facebook. 

Place 6 was an open seat and the victor was Romans who got 42.3% of the votes over 26.8% for Sharon Bell and 30.7% for Scott Reese.

“I love this district. We have amazing employees who deserve trustees that will respect and trust them. We have students who need trustees that will ensure a high-quality, safe education for ALL of them,” Romans posted on her Facebook page. “I believe we are more than the noise, the rhetoric, and the buzzwords – we are a great place to learn! I am more than ready to do the work to build our schools up to be even better.” 

Prop A ACE authorizes the LISD Board to purchase attendance credit from the state with local tax revenues.

Prop B VATRE ratifies the ad valorem tax rate of $1.2746 per $100 valuation in the district for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 35% in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for LISD for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $99,041,063.

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Nov. 18 to canvass the election results.