From a contest originally up to voters, it came down to a 50-50 chance on Friday to determine who would be the final candidate to win election to the Hartland Consolidated Schools Board of Education.
Incumbent Secretary Michelle Hemeyer and “Clean Slate” candidate Greg Keller each polled exactly 5,264 votes on Tuesday.
To break the tie, both candidates met at the Historic Courthouse in Downtown Howell and pulled a slip of paper from a box to determine who would win, with Hemeyer pulling out the slip of paper with the word “ELECTED” on it, meaning she will be the winner unless a recount were to determine differently.
Recounts can not be done until after the Livingston County Board of Canvassers make the election official, which will probably be sometime next week. After that, candidates have six days to ask for a recount.
So barring the unlikely occurrence of a recount showing Keller actually had more votes, Hemeyer will return to the board. She told GIGO News that the election had been unlike anything this county had ever seen.
“I feel both Greg and myself would have been able to serve the community in an amazing capacity, putting children first,” she said. “I am very humbled by the amount of support the community has shown me over this past week. I have served the community for over seven years, and I will proudly continue to do so.”
Hemeyer will serve along with Glenn Gogoleski, the Clean Slate’s unofficial leader, who led the race with 15.4% of the vote, with only 40 votes separating him from incumbent Meghan Glabach.
Glabach was unanimously appointed to the board in February 2022 and was elected for a six-year term. In addition, another “Clean Slate” member, Michelle Blondeel, defeated incumbent Vic Bugni and will serve a partial term ending in 2024.
The Clean Slate ran on a series of issues that included parents’ rights to curriculum access and a transphobic call to “end the threat of boys in girls’ sports and restrooms.”
The Clean Slate mission statement also includes a rallying cry against “divisive policies that teach kids what to think,” a thinly veiled reference to the alleged teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools, a university level concept not being taught in Hartland, or any other Livingston County school district.