A 30-year-old financial adviser who believes his job will help prepare him well for budget discussions was in the lead Tuesday night to become Pasco's newest school board member.
Ryan Brault had 3,685 votes, or 64 percent, for Position 2 of the Pasco School District board, according to preliminary election results. His opponent, Patrick McBurney Sr., had 2,101 votes, or 36 percent.
McBurney, 66, is a retired engineer. He previously ran for the board in 2007.
Brault, hanging out at Pasco's Election Center, was excited Tuesday night about the early returns.
"I think a big part of it is (the voters) have seen that I've been involved in the school district and informed on the issues that the district is facing, and extremely active in attending school board study sessions," Brault said.
He also thinks the voters picked him to "add a little bit of diversity to the board with my age."
School board members serve four-year terms and are paid $50 per meeting.
Brault has supported the district through its business-partnership program and was a volunteer member of the task force that recommended the district switch to a multi-track, year-round calendar to address overcrowding.
He previously told the Herald that any more cuts in the school budget would have to be in areas that do not directly affect the classroom. A key issue in his campaign was to get the district to save money in printing and mailing costs by communicating with parents in electronic format.
Brault said the school board on Tuesday night discussed revising the district policy on social media and may look into getting a Facebook page as an alternative way to reach parents.
McBurney is a mentor to two teenage boys in east Pasco and volunteers as a reading tutor. He said if elected, he would involve more volunteer tutors in schools to make up for budget cuts.
In Franklin County, 27,410 ballots were issued. Results released Tuesday night were from the 8,379 ballots the auditor's office received as of Monday, said Auditor Matt Beaton.
Ballots received Tuesday will be processed and counted today, he said. Results will be updated today and Thursday.
The statewide voter turnout estimate is 47 percent, but Beaton said he expects Franklin County's turnout rate will be lower.
The auditor's office received 1,998 ballots Tuesday, which makes the county's voter turnout 38 percent so far. Beaton estimated the turnout rate for the county will be 42 percent to 45 percent.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org