Maureen Eigen won a close contest for Alexandria School Board, defeating Jeff Patience by 267 votes in the Tuesday, Nov. 2, election.

According to unofficial results, Eigen had 3,312 votes (52.05%) to Patience's 3,045 (47.85%). There were six write-in votes.

Eigen said she feels great and that she had a lot of people supporting and helping her throughout the campaign. She added that it was fantastic celebrating with many of them Tuesday evening.

“I was with an incredible group of people when we found out the election results. We all cheered,” she said. “I believe I won because I spoke about more than my experience; I discussed the issues that are important to our community. They have voiced what is valuable to them in their vote. I am excited to have been selected to serve on our school board.”

The outcome wasn’t what Patience expected, but he said, “That’s why we as a democracy get to vote. Our community has spoken and I will respect that. Maureen ran a formidable campaign and I wish her well in her new role.”

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Jeff Patience
Jeff Patience

But he also added that the divisiveness of the community is somewhat surprising and disheartening.

He said the schools are doing a great job in one of the most difficult times in recent history, yet are being discounted at nearly every turn by so many people.

“I hope we as a community can collaborate to work our way through this period in time and become better on the other end,” he said. “As I've told my kids that I've coached over the years, it's easy to celebrate when you win, but true character is displayed when you don't. I truly appreciate the support that my family and I have received from our community. I am grateful for that.”

Eigen said she was raised to work hard and expect good results. However, she said that with no early reports, it was hard to know how the election would turn out. She said she is proud of the efforts of her campaign and all she and her committee put into achieving their end goal.

“I was so focused on the work, I am now thrilled with the results,” she said.

The first precincts bring in ballot boxes to the Douglas County Auditor's Office at 8:44 p.m. The election judges included (left to right) Ardyce Harris, Joyce Meininger, Bonnie Schultz and Dawn McNeal. 
Al Edenloff / Echo Press
The first precincts bring in ballot boxes to the Douglas County Auditor's Office at 8:44 p.m. The election judges included (left to right) Ardyce Harris, Joyce Meininger, Bonnie Schultz and Dawn McNeal. Al Edenloff / Echo Press

While her campaign was more intense than she thought it was going to be, Eigen said she realized it was because of her goal to be transparent as a school board member.

“I decided to be clear so people would know exactly who I am and who they would be voting for to represent them,” she said. “As a result, people have felt very open to share their opinions with me and that is a good thing. Even though we don't always agree, it's good to know where people stand and that we can have open and honest communication as I will be representing the people of District 206.”

Now that the election is over, Patience said he will continue to keep giving back to the community and to the Alexandria Public Schools because that is what he loves to do.

Eigen said she is going to relax and spend time with her family before she hits the ground running preparing for her new position as a school board member.

“My objective is to support the needs of our students and staff and I'm honored to step into the position,” she said.

Voters cast their ballots in the School Board race in Ward 2 at Reach Church in Alexandria Tuesday evening. 
Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press
Voters cast their ballots in the School Board race in Ward 2 at Reach Church in Alexandria Tuesday evening. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

Eigen carries nine of 12 precincts

Of the school district’s 12 precincts, Eigen carried all but three. Patience received the most votes in precinct 1, which includes the city of Alexandria’s Ward 1, and precinct 5, Alexandria’s Ward 5, but Eigen prevailed in the three other in-city precincts.

Patience also carried precinct 6, LaGrand Township, but Eigen won in all of the other precincts. Eigen’s biggest support in those outlying areas came from precinct 7, which included Garfield and the townships of Brandon, Ida, Leaf Valley and Moe, and precinct 9, which included the city of Carlos and Belle River and Carlos townships. Eigen carried both those precincts by a 100-vote margin each.

Vote totals

Here is a look at the totals by precincts:

Precinct 1: City of Alexandria, Ward 1, Precincts 1 and 2

  • Eigen – 341

  • Patience – 449

Precinct 2: City of Alexandria, Ward 2

  • Eigen – 278

  • Patience – 249

Precinct 3: City of Alexandria, Ward 3

  • Eigen – 268

  • Patience – 224

Precinct 4: City of Alexandria, Ward 4

  • Eigen – 144

  • Patience – 138

Precinct 5: City of Alexandria, Ward 5, Precincts 1 and 2

  • Eigen – 163

  • Patience – 180

  • Write-in – 1

Precinct 6: LaGrand Township

  • Eigen – 514

  • Patience – 582

  • Write-in – 2

Precinct 7: City of Garfield, Brandon Township, Ida Township, Leaf Valley Township, and Moe Township

  • Eigen – 317

  • Patience – 217

Precinct 8: City of Miltona, Miltona Township, and Spruce Hill Township

  • Eigen – 102

  • Patience – 84

Precinct 9: City of Carlos, Belle River Township, and Carlos Township

  • Eigen – 402

  • Patience – 302

Precinct 10: City of Nelson, Alexandria Township, and Osakis Township

  • Eigen – 402

  • Patience – 384

  • Write-in – 1

Precinct 11: City of Forada and Hudson Township

  • Eigen – 126

  • Patience – 77

Precinct 12: Holmes City Township, Lake Mary Township, and Reno Township (Pope County)

  • Eigen – 255

  • Patience – 159

  • Write-in – 2

Totals:

  • Eigen – 3,312

  • Patience – 3,045

  • Write-in – 6