Three women who have come to be known as the “Mama Bears” have defeated three incumbents and will be taking their place on the Crook County school board.
Cheyenne Edgerly, Jessica Brumble and Jennifer Knight were all holding significant leads as of Wednesday morning.
Edgerly, who made news last year by questioning the placement of books with LGBTQ references in the public library, was leading incumbent Doug Smith 54.1% to 45.6%.
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Brumble was leading incumbent Jessica Norris 56.4% to 43.3%.
Knight was leading incumbent Jessica Ritter 51.4% to Ritter’s 37.4%. Another challenger, Eddy Howard, had 11%.
Central Oregon Daily News reached out to the school district Wednesday to ask what the next steps are as the new board members prepare to enter their roles.
“The budget for 2023-24 has been adopted,” said Crook County Communications Manager Jason Carr. “The district settled both certified and classified union contracts last year. The school board typically holds a retreat every summer to adopt yearly goals and discuss future planning. The newly-elected school board members will have an opportunity to influence that process when they officially begin in their new positions starting July 1. Until then, the school district and its staff are focused on finishing the current school year strong and celebrating the Class of 2023.”
This race may be the reason Crook County was an unexpectedly high turnout for an off-year election.
“We’re sitting just right about 34% (voter turnout) right now, which is more than double the last district election and the highest district election turnout since I’ve been in office,” said Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely on Tuesday.
According to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, there was about 37% turnout as of Wednesday morning.