Recall fails: All 4 Mequon-Thiensville incumbent school board members retain seats

Recall fails: All 4 Mequon-Thiensville incumbent school board members retain seats

MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A long, contentious recall campaign in Mequon and Thiensville is now over, as all four incumbent school board members retained their seats Tuesday night, Nov. 2.

  • In the race for the first seat, incumbent Akram Khan beat challenger Kristopher Kittell 58.1% to 41.8%.
  • In the race for the second seat, incumbent Chris Schultz beat challenger Scarlett Johnson 58.9% to 41.1%.
  • In the race for the third seat, incumbent Erik Hollander beat challenger Charles Lorenz 60.0% to 39.9%.
  • In the race for the fourth seat, incumbent Wendy Francour beat challenger Cheryle Rebholz 58.7% to 41.2%.

Nancy Urbani, one of the organizers of the Coalition to Support MTSD, said, "I believe in public schools, I believe books should not be banned, I believe equity is wonderful and should be taught to all of our students. That's what we're trying to do. To educate our entire community."

In the end, the results were definitive.

Urbani said, "I think it has been very challenging, but I think they understand a recall should be saved for egregious behavior or malfeasance on the part of the elected officials."

After months of frustration, signatures, signs and campaigning, the "Restore MTSD" recall effort fell short. But they say the issues they are frustrated with - COVID mitigation policies, the threat of critical race theory, and declining academic performance - are not going away.

Thousands of people voted against the current board, and many vow to keep fighting for their children’s education. Recall organizer Amber Schroeder said, "We are hopeful that we have started to implement some great change in the community. We brought a lot of issues forward to the community that otherwise wouldn't have been revealed to them. This is a stepping stone in a very long plan to help change what's going on in our school district and fight for our children."

Wednesday will be a regular school day for students at the Mequon-Thiensville School District, and while many of them may not notice a difference after the election, the fault lines exposed by the campaign could widen further as the April election approaches.

Urbani said, "I think we have to continue to talk to each other, we have to figure out those feedback loops, communication loops, and make sure people are getting information back from the board when they have a question, when they have a concern."

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