John D. Blaney Jr., a lifetime educator and Owensboro Public School principal for 22 years, has been on the OPS board for the last three terms. In tonight’s election, Blaney lost to newcomers Michael Johnson and Jeremy Luckett by a small margin of 85 votes.
Owensboro Times reported earlier today that Precinct 34, located at Owensboro Middle School, handed out incorrect ballots. According to Daviess County Chief Deputy Richard House, there were two ballots at Precinct 34, one with the Owensboro Public School board race and one without. House could not say how many incorrect ballots were handed out.
Kentucky State Board of Elections reported 99 votes for Johnson, 105 votes for Luckett and 109 votes for Blaney at Precinct 34. There were 447 total ballots cast in Precinct 34, with 313 people voting for a school board candidate. There appear to be 134 ballots without any votes for school board.
Despite the poll worker error in handing out ballots, Blaney says he does not plan ask the clerk’s office to recanvass votes.
“How can you recanvass when incorrect ballots were handed out,” Blaney said.
Blaney said he is not bitter about the situation or losing his seat on the OPS board.
“I salute those two gentlemen,” Blaney said. “They are fine people and will do a good job.”
Michael Johnson, a retired Navy veteran, said he is excited that the community supported him in today’s election.
“I’m very passionate about the students and parents of the OPS system,” Johnson said. “I will continue to move the district in the right direction.”
Johnson said Blaney was a valuable member of the OPS board.
“He was my school principal in elementary school,” Blaney said. “I really appreciate him and being a product of Owensboro Public Schools.”
Joining Johnson on the board will be Jeremy Luckett, a physician at Vineyard Primary Care and a graduate of Leadership Owensboro. As a part of the leadership program, Luckett interviewed OPS board member Jeremy Edge, which he said inspired him to run for the board.
“I don’t take this responsible lighty,” Luckett said. “I think I’ll find a good balance.”
OPS Superintendent Dr. Nick Brake said it’s not often he sees such a quality group of candidates vying for positions on the school board.
“I want to thank John Blaney for not only his 12 years of service to the board, but his 30 years of service to our district as a teacher and a principal,” Brake said. “I look forward to continuing to move our district forward with Michael Johnson and Jeremy Luckett. They will bring two new, unique perspectives to the decisions they will make for the future of our students and we will continue to provide the highest quality education for the students of our district.”