HARLINGEN — The Harlingen school district has a new board member.
Eladio Jaimez was sworn in last night at a special meeting of the school board. The swearing-in ceremony, in a board room filled with relatives and supporters, concluded a rather intriguing saga which required two elections.
“I am excited,” Jaimez said after being sworn in by Justice of the Peace Sally Gonzalez, a life-long friend.
“I am looking forward to hitting the ground running,” said Jaimez, 39.
Superintendent Art Cavazos pointed out that Jaimez had a part to play in two elections in one year. He was referring to the race in which Jaimez and Rosalinda Mercado-Garza were neck and neck in the May 7 election. Jaimez received 1,422 votes and Mercado-Garza received 1,421. The following Saturday, however, he Early Voting Election Board added one provisional ballot to Mercado-Garza’s tally, making the vote a tie.
Another election was held June 11 and it was a clear win for Jaimez, who received 1,904 votes. Mercado-Garza received 1,345 votes. Those votes were canvassed last night at the school board meeting, making the election official.
“We are very proud of the candidates for the manner in which they conducted themselves,” said School Board President Gerry Fleuriet.
Cavazos said such an election was a good teaching moment for the district’s students, showing them every vote counts.
“As I look out into the audience I see a lot of friends of Harlingen CISD,” Cavazos said. “We can’t forget the fact we are the largest employer in Harlingen. We have 19,000 students. We touch every facet of the community.”
He then commended Jaimez for immediately meeting with school board members after the election and attending a leadership conference.
Jaimez acknowledged the experience and education of the other board members.
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