Incumbents win school board seats |

Incumbents win school board seats

by Maggie O'Neill
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal John McKenna waits out the end of the election in the ballroom of the Carson Nugget during the Rotary Club party Tuesday evening. McKenna was elected to his fourth term on the Carson City School Board.

In Carson City School District races for two seats, voters chose incumbents over the challengers with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

John McKenna, with 58.24 percent of the vote, and Joanna Wilson, with 59.74 percent of the vote, beat out competitors Kim Cohen and Debby Dailey.

“It’s been an interesting night nationwide,” 59-year-old McKenna said. “Nothing has sunk in yet.”

McKenna, a certified public accountant, will begin a fourth term as a trustee for District 5, which includes the area of Carson High and Fremont Elementary schools. He will have completed 16 years when that term is done.

McKenna received 11,430 votes. Cohen received 8,196.

“I was running on my strengths, which are to treat the school district like a business and get good results,” he said.

McKenna is the school board liaison to the Carson City Parks and Recreation and spent part of Tuesday evening there at a meeting.

Explaining why he thinks he has such a strong base of support, he said he believes it’s because he does a reasonable job.

“I think I have a good philosophy that puts the kids at the forefront of education so they don’t get lost in the details.”

Cohen, who has four children in the school district, said even though she lost the election, she will keep on working toward improving education.

“My main concern right now is what is happening with my children in the schools,” the 41-year-old said. “My emphasis will always be the same.”

She said school board trustees need to be well versed in many areas to serve on the board.

“I think the thing that has been most impressive to me is to be in a school board position, you really need to have some insight into many different parts of the school district,” she said. “Most definitely that comes from experience.”

In the District 7 race, Wilson received 11,371 votes and Dailey received 7,662.

Wilson, who is out of town until Friday, was unavailable for comment. But her challenger described the race as a great experience.

“I met an awful lot of nice people,” Dailey said. “And there were a lot of people concerned about education.

“I wish Joanna the best of luck.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’ or 881-1219.