Incumbent Troup County Board of Education member Dianne Matthews tentatively won by a narrow margin to secure a fourth term on the school board Tuesday, but challenger Frank Barnes is requesting a recount.
Matthews edged out challenger Frank Barnes 988 votes to 958, according to unofficial results this results this morning. A total 1,953 votes were cast in the district.
Probate Judge Donald Boyd, who oversees elections for Troup County, said that there are 20 provisional ballot countywide that will be counted Friday. It’s possible the provisions could have some affect on the outcome.
Barnes called the Probate Court this morning to request the recount, Boyd said. The recount will be public, he added, but Boyd had not set a date as of press time.
“This has been very stressful, I just thank the lord he put me back in for four more years,” Matthews said this morning before receiving news of the recount. “With a campaign like this, I couldn’t do it by myself – God had to be involved. I’ve never gone through anything like this in my entire life. I did this for children of Troup County.”
Matthews is a former Troup County school teacher, teaching at Rosemont and Dawson Street elementary schools, then serving as a substitute for 10 years. She has been on the board of education since 2001.
Barnes is a Harris County teacher and minister of Bartley Road Church of Christ. He previously taught and coached in Troup County at Hogansville and West Point elementary schools.
As of press time, Barnes had not returned a message left this morning seeking comment.
The school board race proved to be contentious for the incumbents as a group candidates collectively known as the ABCD group opposed them in each of the districts up for election. Barnes, part of ABCD, had called for tax breaks for seniors, lower taxes and criticized the board’s spending.
Matthews denied that the board spent liberally and said it has made necessary, if sometimes painful, cost-cutting measures. She said all tax payers should contribute their fair share to children’s education.