Purdy school voters oust 2 of 3 board incumbents

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Veteran incumbents do not campaign in apparent upset

Purdy voters, with five candidates for the three open school board seats, chose to shake up the status quo by electing both first-time candidates and retiring two incumbents in Tuesday's voting.

In the busiest race since six candidates ran in 2010, Travis Brown, in his first bid for office, led the field with 149 votes. Fellow first-time candidate Martin "Trae" Goetz came in second with 133. Four-term incumbent Russ Neill came in third to keep his seat with 107 votes.

Finishing out of the running was Tammy Humphrey, who served on the board for the past year, and five-term incumbent Ronnie Veith finished last with 82 votes.

"I'm pumped," said Brown, who learned about winning on his way to help tornado relief in Goodman. "I'm happy to serve people of Purdy. I'm looking forward to it."

Goetz could not be reached for comment.

"I'm not sure what to think of [the results]," Neill said. "Goodness. I'm looking forward to working with the two new gentlemen. It will be enjoyable, to get some younger folks with some younger children on the board. It will be good. I've enjoyed working with the other two. I look forward to working with two new ones."

Neill could not explain how he fared better than his fellow incumbents.

"I did not campaign," Neill said. "I just signed up and kind of let the patrons decide from there."

Tammy Humphrey praised the winners.

"There were a lot of great people running," Humphrey said. "They will all represent the school and the community well. Any of the five would do a good job. I'm excited to have had the chance to serve."

Like Neill, Veith was surprised at the outcome.

"I've had a long run," Veith said. "I have no regrets. It Is what it is. I have no hard feelings."

Veith also said like Neill, he did no campaigning.

"In my 15 years on the board, I don't think I've ever missed a board meeting," Veith said. "I can't be certain of that, but I know I've missed family activities because of my commitment. The new people will do a fine job. I wish them the best."

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