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UPDATED: Four elected to Rapid City school board

This story was updated to correct the number of registered voters in the school district as well as the percentage who voted and the term length of the Area 3 representative.

The Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education will have three brand-new members after Tuesday's election. Two incumbents, including the current board president, lost.

Voter turnout was low, with only 6,020 ballots cast out of 47,463 registered voters — less than 13% of the electorate.

Area 1 winner Deb Baker received 1,314 votes to beat Natalie Slack, who received 734 votes. Area 2 winner Breanna Funke received 295 votes to beat incumbent and current Board President Curt Pochardt and Tatewin Means, who received 173 and 209 votes, respectively. Area 3 winner Gabe Doney received 1,371 votes to beat incumbent Kara Flynn, who received 1,082 votes. Area 7 winner and incumbent Kate Thomas received 397 votes to beat Jennifer Read and Megan Collier, who received 306 and 85 votes, respectively.

"I just want to thank everybody for voting. I'm super excited to be the parents' voice on the school board and to represent them well. I'm excited to get to work," Funke told the Journal Tuesday night. 

None of the other winners responded to requests for comment.

This year’s school board election was contentious; candidates and some campaign organizers said the race was political despite the nonpartisan nature of the school board. A number of Republican state lawmakers donated to all four of the winning campaigns.

The new representatives will be sworn in at the July 26 board meeting and their terms will last three years, with the exception of Area 3 representative Gabe Doney. Doney's term will last one year; the Area 3 seat was vacated in Fall 2020 and Flynn was appointed to serve the remainder of the school year.

Three board seats, in Areas 4, 5 and 6, were not up for election. Areas 4 and 5 representatives Jim Hansen and Clay Colombe will hold their seats until 2023, and Area 6 representative Amy Policky will hold her seat until 2022.

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