Newcomer Sawyer-White in top spot in Antioch School Board race, Gibson-Gray re-elected, Hack is back

Sawyer-White from her campaign.

Sawyer-White from her campaign.

By Allen Payton

As the rest of the votes are still being counted by County Elections Division staff, as of Tuesday night’s results, in the Antioch School Board race challenger and newcomer Crystal Sawyer-White is barely in first place with 8,087 votes for 19.61% of the vote among the seven candidates seeking three seats. In second is incumbent Diane Gibson-Gray who appears to be re-elected for a third term with 7,511 votes for 18.22% of the vote and former school board member Gary Hack is in third place with 6,910 votes for 16.76%.

He’s ahead of fellow former school board member Joy Motts, who had 6,510 votes for 15.79% of the vote. Appointed incumbent Fernando Navarro came in a distant fifth place with 5,047 votes for 12.24%, followed by news site publisher Mike Burkholder in sixth with 4,109 votes and 9.19%, and the other appointed incumbent Alonzo Terry, placed last with 2,935 votes for 7.12% of the vote.

school-board-results-finalBoth Hack and Motts served on the board until each losing their re-election efforts in 2014. Both also applied for the appointments to fill board vacancies, last year and earlier this year, when Navarro and Terry were appointed, instead.

In a brief comment, Tuesday night, Sawyer-White wrote “Wow! I am so excited!”

“I would like to thank all my supporters, family and friends,” she stated on Wednesday. “I am humbled to be elected and looking forward to working with our Superintendent, Stephanie and all the board members. Let’s put our children first.”

Sawyer-White, Navarro and Terry were all backed by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates with independent expenditure financed mailers. Gibson-Gray, Hack and Motts were all supported by the Antioch Education Association, which is the local teachers’ union, which contributed directly to their campaigns, as well as paid for an independent expenditure mailer. The latter three also had the support of the California Schools Employees Association, which includes the district’s non-faculty staff, and the district’s management staff, which includes the principals. The management staff also supported Burkholder.

Neither Gibson-Gray nor Hack could be reached for comment prior to publication time.

According to County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla, the County Elections office still has approximately 180,000 votes to count in the county. They expect the next update to be provided Thursday afternoon and will be available on their website

the attachments to this post:



2 Comments to “Newcomer Sawyer-White in top spot in Antioch School Board race, Gibson-Gray re-elected, Hack is back”

  1. Concerned Antioch Resident says:

    I find it very suspicious that Sawyer-White would get more votes than the other candidates when she didn’t submit a statement in the Voter’s Guide, or barely did any campaigning. The other 2 candidates promoted on the Charter School mailer came in 5th and 7th place. If I were the other candidates, I would want verification that all votes were from valid Antioch registered voters.

    • Publisher says:

      Concerned Antioch Resident,
      If you speak with Ms. Sawyer-White, you’ll find out that she campaigned door-to-door.
      Plus, her name was top on the ballot, which is always helpful in a multi-candidate race.
      She had the ballot designation of “teacher” which is helpful.
      Also, she, as you pointed out, was helped by the mailers from the California Charter School Association Advocates.
      The other two on those mailers had “incumbent” as their ballot designations, which is the worst word you can use in an election.
      Finally, it was somewhat of an anti-incumbent year, as only one incumbent was re-elected in both the city council and the school board election, and neither came in first, in their respective races.
      That’s my assessment, from my 34 years of political campaign experience, for why she won and is the top vote-getter, so far.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

Leave a Reply