HARLINGEN — It had been years since the Harlingen school board seated a new board member.

Eladio Jaimez, 39, and Rosalinda Mercado-Garza, 43, were running for Place 7 vacated by long-time board member Verna Young.

Jaimez defeated Mercado-Garza by one vote, 1,422 to 1,421, according to the unofficial tabulation.

Superintendent Art Cavazos and School Board President Nolan Perez were at Harlingen City Hall watching the monitor as election results rolled in.

“This was an important contested election,” Perez said. “This was the future of the school district.”

Some board members were out of town and he was texting them the re-sults as they came in. He and Cavazos had expected a victory on either side of 200 or 300 votes, but not 1,422 to 1,421.

“We were just in shock,” Perez said. “You don’t think it’s going to be by one vote.”

At this point, the results are unofficial. Some over-seas ballots may be re-ceived by Thursday and, if so, that could change the count.

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