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Diffley, Muir, Dickson Lead Murrieta School Board Election

The Murrieta Valley Unified School District will see two returning board members, along with one newcomer, according to Tuesday's election results.

Two incumbents and one newcomer appear to have won election to the Murrieta school board.

There were five candidates vying for two seats. Board members serve four-year terms.

With votes from 100 percent of Murrieta precincts tallied as of Wednesday morning, incumbent trustee Paul Diffley had 22.79 percent of the vote, likely earning him one of those spots.

The next updated results are expected from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters' Office at 6 p.m. Thursday.

"Approximately, 105,000 vote-by-mail, 60,000 provisional, and 18,000 damaged ballots that require duplication still must be processed. Work on those ballots begins today," the registrar's office wrote Wednesday morning in a Facebook post.

Should the election results stick, the other two Murrieta school board seats would go to first-time candidate Barbara Muir, a retired teacher, who garnered 20.34 percent, and incumbent Ken Dickson, who came in with 19.63 percent.

Votes for candidate Gregory Lee numbered 18.94 percent, to incumbent Margi Wray's 18.30 percent.

The Murrieta Teachers Association had endorsed Diffley, Muir and Lee for the seats.

"I can tell you that I was honored for the endorsement from the MTA," Lee wrote, in an email to Patch Wednesday. "I really enjoyed working with the teachers. They are an extremely fine group of professionals."

"I thank my dear friend, former Sheriff Cois Byrd and his wife Evelyn, who gave me valuable advise and support. There and many, many other fine citizens from our community who have supported me and my family throughout the campaign," Lee wrote.

"I have learned a lot from this experience and would never hesitate to represent the Murrieta Valley Unified School District—the best school district in California," Lee wrote.

Wray, who was first elected to the board in 1991, shortly after the district became unified, said she has been part of the district's growth from a few thousand students to more than 22,000. Her two children graduated from Murrieta schools.

"I am thankful because I walked into this position thinking of it as service and what I could give," Wray said by phone Wednesday. "And the fact of the matter is I have gotten so much more in return, in friendships and in knowledge...Other than raising two children, this has been one of the most important things I have done in my life."

Diffley will enter his third term on the board.

"I am really grateful," Diffley said. "(The voters) have placed a lot of trust in me and considering how difficult the times are...I really appreciate it and I will hard to do the very best I can to make sure the kids get what they need."

Dickson said he was pleased to be given the opportunity to continue serving.

"It is about the upcoming generation and how they are going to be prepared for jobs," Dickson said. "It is going to be a very difficult financial time for our state; our state economy is very precarious—the national economy maybe even more so."

Muir could not immediately be reached for comment.

Of his new colleague, Dickson said: "I am sure Barbara Muir is coming in with the right heart to move these kids along."

TKoeppen November 08, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Can someone please explain how 18,000 ballots were damage??

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