TRAVERSE CITY — The race for the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education looks to be a clean sweep for the challengers.
The unofficial results from Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau counties show Josey Ballenger, Flournoy Humphreys and Scott Newman-Bale supplanting incumbents Jane Klegman, Ben McGuire and Jeff Leonhardt for the three contested board seats. Each earned a four-year term.
Ballenger was the largest vote-getter, tallying 21,848 votes to Humphreys' 16,336 and Newman-Bale's 14,791. Klegman received the most votes for the incumbent slate with 12,251. McGuire garnered 10,299 votes, and Leonhardt 10,121. Michael Hurd, who dropped out of the race in October, still received 6,781 votes.
The three-seat flip comes a little more than a year after many in the public criticized the TCAPS board for its handling of former Superintendent Ann Cardon's unexpected resignation. Klegman and Leonhardt — along with current trustees Sue Kelly and Pam Forton — were at the heart of the controversy surrounding Cardon's exit.
Ballenger easily carried Grand Traverse County with 20,038 votes. Humphreys tallied nearly 15,000 votes in GT at 14,919, and Newman-Bale finished third with 13,554. Absentee voting largely contributed to those totals, with Ballenger receiving more than 14,300 absentee votes, Humphreys just north of 10,700 and Newman-Bale nearly 9,300.
Klegman once again finished fourth, receiving 11,253 votes in Grand Traverse County. McGuire placed fifth with 9,442, and Leonhardt sixth at 9,264. More than 6,100 GT residents voted for Hurd.
In Leelanau County, Ballenger had 1,528 votes, Humphreys 1,215, Newman-Bale 1,069, Klegman 841, Leonhardt 757, McGuire 724 and Hurd 501.
Benzie voters fell largely the same way: Ballenger with 282, Humphreys 202, Newman-Bale 168, Klegman 157, McGuire 133 and both Leonhardt and Hurd with 100 votes each.
Ballenger, Humphreys and Newman-Bale begin their tenure as a TCAPS trustee Jan. 1, 2021.
Voters in all three counties also passed the TCAPS operating millage proposal. The final tally was 31,934 in favor to 19,602 against. The measure means TCAPS can continue to collect the maximum 18 mills on non-homestead properties until 2024.