The results of an automatic recount of votes cast in the Nov. 5 general election show Cathy Olshefski officially has retained her seat on the Pickerington Local School District Board of Education.
Olshefski, the current school board president, earned a four-vote victory over Clay Lopez according to results of a recount Thursday, Dec. 5, by the Fairfield County Board of Elections.
Olshefski, 52, squeaked past fellow incumbent Lopez, 38, to retain her seat by a vote of 2,116 to 2,112.
The recount, which was certified Dec. 5 by the Fairfield County Board of Elections, included a count of provisional and absentee ballots cast in both Fairfield and Franklin counties.
The recount was automatically invoked after initial certifications by both counties boards of election showed Olshefski had won by a 2,116 to 2,114 count.
The final, official four-vote margin was enough to elect Olshefski to her second term on the board.
Lopez will vacate a seat he's held since being appointed to the board in 2008. He also was seeking his second full term on the board.
"I'm elated I'm going to have another opportunity to serve as a member of the board and the people of the community in that role," Olshefski said. "It's a role I enjoy, and I appreciate serving.
"I'm pleased the voters have allowed me to do it again."
Although she said she's excited to work with the new board, Olshefski said she'll miss working with Lopez.
"I have enjoyed immensely, as I think my peers have, in serving with Clay," she said. "He's sat in that role for six years now.
"He has brought perspective of his own, as well as expertise from his (legal) background," Olshefski said. "He will definitely be missed."
Lopez did not return calls or an email requesting comment.
Olshefski joins fellow incumbent Lori Sanders, 52, and newcomer Vanessa Niekamp, 43, who were the top two vote-getters, respectively, in a four-way race for three board seats.
Sanders is the longest-tenured member of the board, and on Nov. 5 won her fifth term.
Niekamp was elected to her first term in public office.
According to the Fairfield County Board of Elections final tally, Sanders received 2,609 votes and Niekamp received 2,317.