The Bryan County Board of Education will have a new face in January after political newcomer Marianne Smith garnered the majority of votes in the special election to decide the District 4 representative.
Smith, who received 1,149 votes, ran against six-year board veteran Jeff Morton, who received 1,381 votes. Morton currently holds the Vice Chairman position and his term expires in November.
The two were running to fill a seat vacated when Joe Pecenka stepped down to run for the Vice Chairman position. Pecenka, former District 4 representative, no longer lives in that district after new lines were drawn following census population changes. Pecenka ran unopposed for the Vice Chairman position and will assume that role in January.
Smith said Wednesday she and her family were very excited to learn she’d won the election.
“I am excited and honored, and I honestly just feel privileged to be on the Board of Education for our community,” she said. “I can’t wait to get in there and hopefully make it even better than it already is.”
She said she is looking forward to being more involved in the school system.
“Just being a voice for the kids and teachers and just being a part of the community and a big part of this school system,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who supported me and believed in me, and I promise to keep open communication always.”
On Wednesday, Morton said he has enjoyed his time on the school board and offered well-wishes to Smith.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve the residents of Bryan County,” Morton said. “I’ve enjoyed meeting and working with the Bryan County teachers and administrators. I wish Mrs. Smith the very best and I’m confident she will work well with our current school board members.”
Morton added he would likely continue to stay involved with the school board.
Results are unofficial until certified by the Secretary of State.