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Newcomers Armstrong, Scott win school board seats downing incumbents

By Staff | Aug 24, 2010

Three new faces will fill Lee County School Board seats this November.
Incumbents Elinor Scricca and Steven Teuber failed to win back voter support in Tuesday’s primary, while it appears a runoff is in the works for Arnold Gibbs and Mary Fischer.

District 1
The District 1 School Board seat became available when Robert “Bob” Chilmonik stepped down to run for Lee County Commissioner earlier this year.
Mary Fischer, John E. Traube, and Arnold Gibbs vied for the seat, but as no candidate garnered over 50 percent of the vote, two will be facing off again in November’s general election.
Arnold Gibbs finished with 41.34 percent, or 27,586, of the votes. Mary Fischer finished with 38.50 percent, or 25,691, of the votes.
John E. Traube finished 20.15 percent, or 13,446, of the total votes.
Fischer, celebrating the election results with friends and family Tuesday night, said she plans on keeping her campaign team together for the November push.
Fischer said she plans on working “just a little bit harder” to gain the votes she needs to win the seat.
“My campaign has been very grass roots and I plan on continuing that approach,” Fischer said. “I just need to work just a little bit harder to gain the confidence of voters.”
Having worked at various levels within the school district, Fischer said she is confident she’d be able to reach those voters — specifically teachers and faculty — for the November runoff.
“I know the system inside and out … I work in the system and have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening,” she said.
Arnold Gibbs and John Traube did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

District 4
Don Armstrong won the District 4 School Board seat over incumbent Steven Teuber, who served eight years on the board.
Armstrong garnered 52.03 percent, or 33,512, of the total votes, while Teuber garnered 47.957 percent, or 30,896, of the total votes.
Armstrong said he was “flabbergasted” by the win, and thanked Lee County voters for having confidence in him.
Armstrong may have had enough confidence in himself, though, when he said, “I told Teuber in April I would have his seat.”
He said his first order of business will be addressing the school district’s “transportation problems,” specifically long bus rides, as well as listening to the “needs of the public.”
“We will be fixing the transportation issues. I’m going to work on long bus rides and shorten them. There will be no more wasteful bus rides, that’s the first thing I plan on addressing,” Armstrong said. “I’m going to work with our superintendent and find out how we can address this quickly. There’s no more long waiting for Lee County residents.”
During his eight years, Teuber said he was proud of the many accomplishments the school board was able to implement, including making Lee County one of the top school districts in the state, he said.
“We’ve done a lot, but there’s still a lot more to do,” Teuber said.
He congratulated Armstrong and Scott on their wins, but said he feels there was a general, anti-incumbent mentality among voters going into this election.
With not further political ambitions, Teuber said he will continue practicing law.
“I never had any political aspirations, I just wanted to be a public servant for my kids,” Teuber said.

District 5
The District 5 seat, held by Elinor Scricca for 8 years, was won by Tom Scott with almost 58 percent of the overall vote.
Scott garnered 57.56 percent, or 38,376, of the total votes, while Scricca pulled 42.44 percent, or 28,298, of the total votes.
Neither Scott nor Scricca could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
The election results are unofficial until certified.