Anderson Sainci, busy shaking hands with other community members, paused for a photo Tuesday night with his wife and young children at the Dubuque County Courthouse.
Just minutes before, he won a seat on the Dubuque Community School Board. Also elected were Jim Prochaska and recently retired district administrator Nancy Bradley.
“I think it shows in the votes — people believe in us,” Sainci said.
Prochaska was the top vote-getter among the seven candidates vying for three at-large positions, garnering 2,577 votes. He was followed by Sainci and Bradley, who secured the other two seats with 2,304 and 1,788 votes, respectively.
They bested challengers Chuck Seymour, 1,595; David Orr, 562 votes; and Candace Raymond, 440; and incumbent Terra Siegert, 1,662, according to unofficial totals.
Incumbent Craig Beytien did not run for re-election.
Prochaska, who will serve his second term on the board, is a retired Dubuque teacher. He said he is grateful that voters trusted him to continue serving and that he looks forward to working with the new board members.
He said his next four-year term will come with challenges, such as budgetary and infrastructure concerns and the ongoing struggle to raise reading scores in the district. He looks forward to meeting those challenges.
“That’s our business,” he said. “Our business is all about students.”
Bradley retired this summer as the district’s director of elementary education. She spent nearly 47 years working in the Dubuque Community School District.
“I’m just delighted to be able to continue to serve the kids of Dubuque and the community of Dubuque,” she said.
Bradley said she feels strongly about advocating politically for public school funding and legislation that supports education. She wants to start reaching out to state legislators soon.
“I want to get started with that right away,” she said.
Sainci is the resource management coordinator for the City of Dubuque and also is active on several community boards.
Just minutes after results were announced, he already was looking ahead. He said his next goal is to “listen, learn and find ways to continue to keep students first.”
Sainci credited his win to community support.
“They see my commitment to students,” he said. “They see my passion.”
After the results were tallied, Seymour said the board is in good hands. There were many good candidates, he said.
“I appreciate all the support I got from family and friends and the citizens of Dubuque,” he said.
Siegert offered a similar assessment.
“I’m disappointed, but I think (those elected are) going to do great on the board,” she said.
Orr and Raymond could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.