Mildred Blackburn was in the board of elections office Tuesday night when she learned she had won a second term representing District 4 on the Columbia County Board of Education.
This was the second time she had fended off challenger Andy Ezell. But she wasn't taking anything for granted She campaigned hard and her work paid off.
Columbia County school board incumbent Mildred Blackburn (right) talks to Molly Boyleston as she watches election results.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"My daughter, Betsy, and I went to 2,027 houses and knocked on doors. We worked hard. And I'm in the schools all the time," Blackburn said.
Ezell said he will stand behind Blackburn and offer his support. He said he was bolstered by the number of votes he got this time around. During the last run, he tallied 1,100 votes, and on Tuesday he got 2,070 votes, though his district is now two precincts larger.
"I'm real upbeat as far as my showing, and I'm real thankful to the people who supported me," Ezell said. "I went all the way across the district and I believe I got my message out. I'm not going to fade away into the shadows. I'm still a parent, my wife is still a teacher and I'm still going to be very interested in my children's education and my wife's future, as well."
Blackburn said her 54.7 percent margin of victory is an affirmation that the board is moving the school system in the right direction.
"I feel like I have kept the goal of academic excellence in our school system in the forefront," she said. "I am also proud that we've done so much work with career technology programs," she said during a break of the Career Search ProStart Program at Evans High School Wednesday morning.
She said the school board will be challenged in the future to build more schools to keep up with the growth in the county. There may also be some controversial ideas introduced by the board's long-range planning committee that the board will have to consider.
Blackburn believes her years as a classroom teacher give her a unique perspective on the board.
"I think it helps me to see the needs of teachers and my contact with parents gives me insight as to the needs of students," she said.
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