Laurie Walker had finished Election Night leading in votes for Pleasanton Unified School District's Area 2 position on the Board of Trustees -- and now that the vast majority of the ballots have been counted, she has secured the seat.
"I am thrilled at the election numbers that have come in so far," she told the Weekly after the county's election update on Nov. 17. "I had a great group of volunteers and supporters throughout my campaign and I'm proud we got the word out about my campaign goals. I am so humbled by my strong results."
The race for the Area 2 seat, which is the district representing the areas surrounding Hart Middle and Fairlands Elementary schools, was PUSD's first time following a district-based format.
Walker, an administrative secretary at Amador Valley High School, is projected to win as she leads with 57.89% (1,900) of Pleasanton residents voting for her, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office.
Her main opponent, longtime Pleasanton resident Urvi Shah, was unable to break the 35% threshold the entire race as she currently sits with 33.15% (1,088) of votes, according to Monday's election result updates.
Shah is a mother of two who used to run a licensed daycare in town for five years but is now transitioning to real estate.
"I am so happy for Laurie," Shah said. "I would really (like) to thank my voters for their support."
Christine Lutz, a human resources recruiter who qualified for the ballot early in the election cycle but bowed out of the campaign, was also on the ballot and was able to get 8.96% (294) of the vote without running an active campaign.
Walker started with a strong lead on Election Night having 56.45% of the votes over Shah's 32.10% of votes. Since then, the county's daily updates kept Walker comfortably above 50%.
Walker is a strong supporter of Measure I, which is currently projected to pass with 57.18% of voters supporting it, after working at both Amador Valley High School and Harvest Park Middle School and seeing the district's outdated facilities.
Apart from maintaining the district's facilities, another issue she wants to address is retaining staff for more than three years.
"It will be an honor to serve the people of district 2 on the school board," Walker said. "I appreciate their vote of confidence in me as their representative. I look forward to getting to work."
Once the election is certified, Walker said she will have to resign from her job at Amador due to conflict-of-interest considerations.
Another new trustee that will be joining Walker on the board this year is former city planning commissioner Justin Brown.
Brown was not on the ballot because he ran unopposed for the PUSD Area 5 seat, which includes Vintage Hills and Hearst elementary schools and Pleasanton Middle School, as well as part of Foothill High's attendance area.
The newcomers are succeeding trustees Joan Laursen and Mark Miller, who each opted not to seek reelection.
According to the registrar's' office, Alameda County received close to 500,000 votes during this election -- about 32,000 of those were in-person votes at centers, which were counted on Election Day.
A county spokesperson told the Weekly that there were 2,000 votes left to be counted for Monday's last update to the results before the county certifies the election on Dec. 8.