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Recount Results: Incumbent Keeps Seat On Broward School Board Against Parkland Parent

Ryan Petty and Lori Alhadeff ran for school board seats this election season. Petty ran against incumbent Donna Korn, and the race went into automatic recount last weekend.
Emily Michot
Miami Herald
Ryan Petty and Lori Alhadeff ran for school board seats this election season. Petty ran against incumbent Donna Korn, and the race went into automatic recount last weekend.

A race for a seat on Broward County’s school board lasted a few days beyond the primary election.


Over the weekend, there was a recount for the race pitting incumbent Donna Korn against Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Korn kept her lead and is expected to maintain her seat on the school board. As of Monday afternoon, she had 50.43 percent of votes. Petty had nearly 31 percent of votes.

Lori Alhadeff, who lost her daughter Alyssa in the shooting,  won a seat on the school boardafter Tuesday's primary election.

On The Florida Roundup, WLRN’s Tom Hudson spoke with WLRN’s education reporter Jessica Bakeman about the response to the school board race. She begins by describing how the Petty campaign reacted to news of the recount.

"This gives us some insight as to why the Ryan Petty campaign really hasn't spoken out. They didn't put out a statement conceding or congratulating Donna Korn. So they were obviously anticipating this [recount]. Also, there was some tweeting about the recount. Ryan Petty tweeted a meme of Jim Carrey from the movie "Dumb and Dumber," saying, 'So you're telling me there's a chance,' which I thought was really funny," Bakeman said. 

WLRN: Finding a little bit of humor in what had been kind of a nasty race in the final weeks of that campaign, right? 

A couple of different things. On Korn's side, she had appeared at an event where she said that last school year was amazing, and it was an off-the-cuff comment, and that she was referring to the academic progress that had been made, because she was speaking to principals. But she has apologized for it. That was something that Ryan Petty and other critics had seized on and had circulated. Of course, some of the parents had said that was really painful for them.

On the other side, Korn's campaign had leaked, or at least alerted the Sun Sentinel, to this history of controversial tweets that Ryan Petty has – mostly from many years ago. He had a series of tweets that were racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, even pro-gun. I spoke with at least one voter in Parkland who said she was voting for Alhadeff but was voting against Petty because she is Jewish. She said she felt very uncomfortable with the idea of electing someone who had tweeted this anti-Semitic idea.

What will Alhadeff's presence on the Broward County school board mean? 

At her victory party – I actually was able to go to both on Tuesday – it was filled with the other parents of kids who died. They're these really familiar faces and voices now – Max Schachter, April Schentrup, Fred Guttenberg. They all said, I think it's really important to have a parent and a parent who has experienced this so personally because they're going to be able to add a perspective that no one else really can.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.
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