SUMMERVILLE — Dorchester County District 2 School Board Chairman Bo Blanton was coasting toward another victory Tuesday with most of the precincts counted.
But longtime school board member Carolyn Howard was trailing two other challengers for three open seats in the districtwide election.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Blanton was leading with 23 percent of the votes in unofficial results. The 50-year-old Summerville native has been on the board 12 years.
Lisa H. Tupper, 44, a mother of four and longtime schools volunteer whose husband is on the Summerville Commissioners of Public Works, was in the No. 2 spot with 22 percent of the votes.
Barbara Crosby, 60, a second-grade teacher at Sangaree Elementary School in Berkeley County who narrowly lost the board election two years ago, was closing in on the third seat with 20 percent.
Howard, a retired teacher who has been on the board since 1979, was in fourth with 18 percent.
Michael Hess, an insurance claims special investigator who served on a school board in Florence County before moving back to Summerville a couple years ago, got 15 percent.
All of the candidates identified the top issues as maintaining quality in one of the fastest-growing districts in the state, finding money for more new schools and continuing to reduce the dropout rate.