Huth credits collaborative nature for write-in vote win
JANESVILLE — Janesville School Board write-in winner Steve Huth said his activity in both the educational and business communities helped him relate to voters.
"People know that I advocate for what's good for kids and what's good for Janesville," Huth said. "As many people have heard me say, you have to have a good education system to have economic development."
With all precincts reporting, Huth unofficially won the third school board seat with 3,129 votes. Other write-ins--incumbent David DiStefano and challenger Julieta Henry--received 2,206 and 855 votes respectively.
Huth, along with incumbent and current school board president Greg Ardrey, and challenger Carla Quirk, will fill the three open seats on the board.
Ardrey received 5,998 votes and Quirk received 3,873 votes.
The seats held by Ardrey, DiStefano and Deborah Schilling were open. Schilling did not seek re-election. DiStefano was forced to run as a write-in after being removed from the ballot when his nomination papers were ruled invalid by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Feb. 6.
Huth's victory was not clear until the last write-in ballots were counted after The Gazette's deadline Tuesday night.
"I'm very excited," Huth said. "My wife and I both love Janesville. We plan to stay here. It's been great for us. The education system was awesome for our two kids, and I want to give back to the community and provide some leadership with the background that I have in education and working with the business community."
Huth said he takes an analytical approach to researching issues and advocates based on data.
"I have an ability to look at things with a broad vision but then bring it back down to Janesville and how it can make things better for our students," Huth said.
"People know that they'll always get an answer from me," he said.
Huth said his experiences working with legislators at the state level would help him to address gaps in educational funding. He also will be able to look at the school district budget through the lens of economic development as well as education, he said.
"We need to collaborate and we need to collaborate with the purpose of reaching consensus," Huth said.
Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler said the district would work to make write-in votes official.
"We wait for any outstanding absentees to be returned to the (municipal) clerk by 5 p.m. Friday, April 10," Stottler said. "The municipal clerk issues an amended total to the school district clerk if totals change."
Stottler said there are 109 outstanding absentees in the city alone.
The school board clerk then canvasses the results by Tuesday, April 14, and certifies winners. Candidates have three days after certification to petition for a recount, Stottler said.
After the three days expire, the school board clerk then issues a certificate of election, she said. Candidates then must take the oath of office within 20 days.