4 incumbents, former super win Mars seats

November 3, 2015 Cranberry Breaking News

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Seven candidates vied for five seats on the Mars School District, and the four incumbents and a former superintendent came out on top Tuesday night.

The seats are for four years.

The top vote-getter was incumbent Steve Boggs with 2,771 votes, followed by board vice president Rebecca Brown with 2,752 votes.

The third winner was longtime board member Bonnie Weaver with 2,682 votes, and the fourth was incumbent John L. Kennedy at 2,637.

The fifth and final winning candidate was former Superintendent William Pettigrew, who earned the fewest votes among the five winning candidates, at 2,367.

Pettigrew led the district for 24 years before retiring in 2013.

The two newcomers, Amy Nassif and Patrice Tomcik, did not make the cut in the election. The two women have been vocal members of the Mars parent group that opposes the gas wells planned for the Geyer farm 0.6 of a mile from the district.

Nassif earned 1,531 votes, or just 9.5 percent of the total votes. Tomcik earned 1,498 votes, or 9.2 percent.

Nassif was not available for a comment Tuesday night, and Tomcik was out of town.

Brown, who has served on the board for 18 years, was thrilled with the number of residents who voted.

“I’m just very thankful for everyone who turned out to vote and support the candidates,” Brown said Tuesday night. “I also applaud all the candidates for their efforts.”

Brown said she will continue to focus on increasing technology, keeping facilities up to date, maintaining the safety and security of students and staff, and overseeing the budget as she serves another four years.

“We are always working to keep a balanced budget without increasing taxes,” Brown said.

Pettigrew said he has been thinking about the prospect of taking a seat on the board.

“It’s important to work as a group, which I always did when I was superintendent,” Pettigrew said, “but I know I can be a good board member because of my years of experience and my experience with so many great board members of the past.”

Pettigrew said it is those many board members who have worked to steer Mars in a positive direction who will serve as his role models when he goes on the board.

“I’m happy to be able to serve the Mars School District and give back to the community,” he said.

Incumbents Boggs, Brown and Weaver, the top three vote-getters, cross-filed as both Democrat and Republican.

Incumbent Kennedy and Pettigrew both ran as Republicans.

Nassif and Tomcik ran as Democrats.

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