Storey County residents will have a new school board member next year. Incumbent Carol McCracken, 45, was voted out of office in Tuesday's primary election.
"I'm surprised," McCracken said. "Storey County is supposed to be a conservative county, but they voted a liberal in."
Cathylee James, 43, and Ed Murkovich, 60, will compete in the Nov. 7 general election for the open 1-A seat.
James received 439 votes, Murkovich 368, and McCracken was third with 223 votes.
"It's good that that seat is going to change," Murkovich said. "That seat was the source of a lot of the discord in the district."
Murkovich, a former teacher and administrator, said he was not surprised by the results.
"The fact that I spent so many years in education helped me," he said. "The fact that Cathylee campaigned so heavily helped her."
James said she was not expecting to make it past the primaries but was pleased that she did.
"I'm very happy," she said. "It's just thrilling."
Still, she said she plans to take it one day at a time preparing for the general election.
"I'm going to work very hard until then," she said. "Just like I will work very hard if I'm on the school board."
McCracken said she will place her support behind Murkovich.
"Ed has the experience," she said. "He doesn't have self-serving interests involving his own children. He doesn't have any hidden agendas."
Murkovich said he will work to accentuate the positive aspects of the district.
"The previous board helped to generate anger in the community toward the school board," he said.
James wants to make the board more open to the public and the public's needs.
"I want to work in the best interest of the children all of the time," she said. "The school board needs to be very responsive and open to the community, the students, the teachers and the administration."