Weld RE-4 Board of Education member Lance Nichols defeated challenger Trent Leisy in one of two races for a board seat Tuesday, according to election results on the Weld County Clerk and Recorder website.
Nichols earned nearly 59% of the vote (4,573 votes) to about 42% (3,265 votes) for Leisy to claim the District C seat.
Nichols was running for the first time. A 49-year-old farmer, auctioneer and father of a former and current RE-4 student, Nichols was appointed to the board of education earlier this year following the resignation of Brad Irion.
“I’m happy,” Nichols said about 9 p.m. Tuesday in a phone conversation. “I think we were pretty positive with where the numbers are coming. Hopefully, my fellow board member Chris Perkins will do the same and I’m hopeful he’ll pull through and we’ll retain our seats.”
Leisy, a 40-year-old small businessman, attended Weld RE-4 schools, including graduating from Windsor High School. He served on the district board of education from 2005-09.
As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the race was closer for the District A seat between incumbent Christopher Perkins and Aaron Smith. Perkins, vying for a second term, had just over 52% (4,051 votes) to Smith’s 47.98% (3,736 votes).
“It’s sure a tougher race than we thought,” said Nichols, referring to all of the Weld RE-4 items on the ballot. “I appreciate everyone who went out and voted and did what is constitutionally their right. I hope Chris stays on. We have a strong board.”
Perkins, a 49-year-old mechanical engineer and Windsor resident, is going for a second term. He was under the weather on Tuesday night after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
Smith, a 35-year-old IT professional, and Leisy ran as “parent-choice” challengers. Smith and Leisy campaigned as candidates who will advocate for more parent voice in the district — on matters ranging from the use of masks as a mitigation measure against COVID to curriculum selection.
The votes on two ballot initiatives to fund capital projects — including renovating and building schools — wasn’t looking as favorable as of about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.
District voters were soundly defeating ballot issue 4A— 57% to 43% — that would allow for a tax increase of up to $3 million phased in over two years to provide funds for operational purposes including at Windsor Charter Academy.
Ballot issue 4B, requesting a $179 million bond for construction and expansion of district schools, was down 51.47% 48.53%.
“I’m disappointed,” Nichols said. “I’m hoping this thing will pull out in the later hours and we’ll have better findings in the morning.”
This content was originally published here.