Incumbent HCISD trustees claim re-election

A pair of incumbent Hays CISD trustees will retain their seats after they cruised past their opponents in what was a contentious school board race.

Single Member District 4 trustee Merideth Keller and Single-Member District 5 trustee Esperanza Orosco each won by wide 30-plus or more percentage point margins, according to unofficial, final results.

Keller, a Driftwood-area resident and current board president, defeated Texas State University professor Mark Summers by 347 votes Saturday.

Keller held a wide 279-69 lead over Summers after early voting numbers were released. She outpaced Summers 192-55 on Election Day.

Meanwhile, Orosco, a former Hays CISD educator and current board Vice President, outlasted Del Valle ISD educator and Plum Creek resident Frank Juarez, Jr. by 132 total votes.

Orosco gained an slim 84 vote edge during early voting, but used an Election Day surge to obtain additional separation.

Orosco took 113 votes on Election Day, while Juarez had 65 votes.

The results closed an election rife with controversy that centered on allegations of micromanagement made by a handful of former Hays CISD leader and officials against Orosco and Keller, who both refuted the claims as a “false narrative.”

In a post on her campaign Facebook page, Keller thanked her supporters and said “today is a new beginning and we must make the most of it.”

“We listen, we learn from our disagreements and we move forward with believing the best in people,” Keller wrote. “That is our only path because our students deserve nothing less.”

Orosco thanked her supporters on her campaign Facebook page. Orosco said she appreciated Juarez running for school board and hopes that he “finds a way to serve our community that allows him to put in practice the gifts I am sure he possesses.”

“As we move forward, we are not always going to agree with one another every time and on every issue, but it is our responsibly to elevate our level of discourse – if not for our kids, for the good of our community,” Orosco said. “Let’s continue moving forward together and make Hays CISD the best it can be.”

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