Sue Johnson is expected to be one of three candidates joining the Board of Education in December, pending certification of local election results.
Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey said Wednesday evening that about 3,000 provisional ballots and likely less than 500 mail-in ballots are left to be counted in the general election.
Unofficial election results, as of Wednesday evening, for the top four candidates in the Board of Education race were:
- Sue Johnson:
- 59,652 votes
- Jason ‘Mr. J’ Johnson:
- 45,570 votes
- David Bass:
- 42,121 votes
- Rae Gallagher:
- 40,711 votes
“I’d fully expect Sue Johnson to finish in the top three,” Harvey said of the unofficial results. The four leaders and Lois Jarman, Dean Rose, and write-in candidate Paulette Anders are vying for three seats on the Board of Education. The four-year term of those winners starts next month.
The Board of Elections hopes to certify local election results on Friday, but one thing that may delay that is the counting of votes for Anders, Harvey said. The process of entering those write-in votes into the state elections system is time-consuming, he said.
Sue Johnson was still waiting for certification of those results but was thankful that nearly 60,000 Frederick County residents voted for her.
She said she would focus on advocating for universal full-day pre-K, more apprenticeships and related opportunities at the Frederick County Public Schools’ Career and Technology Center and improving the diversity of teachers and support staff, in order to better represent the school population.
Johnson wasn’t sure if yard signs led to her successful campaign but noted her sign vendor made a mistake on her biggest order, so instead of 500 signs, she ended up with 1,000, half of which were free.
She decided to use those extra signs in public rights-of-ways, once she saw other candidates’ signs in those areas.
Among other issues, Johnson said teacher pay and improving the pay scale, especially for young teachers, was important. That way, they won’t move to Montgomery, Loudoun and other better-paying counties.
“If we can have a teacher start in Frederick County and make them feel valued and compensate them appropriately, I think it will give us a better result for our students,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who teaches computer science at Frederick Community College, said virtual learning is doable for some student populations but not everybody.
But she commended teachers countywide for working through the glitches, and noted the issue has raised awareness of local education issues. It’s better for more people to be civically engaged, Johnson said.
“Of all things with the schools closing ... people have gotten engaged at the local level, and that’s only going to help us as a community,” Johnson said. “The pandemic has kind of opened our eyes to see the local governing structures.”