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Mitchell, Walker Lead School Board Race
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Longtime incumbent John Mitchell and newcomer Steve Walker are apparent winners of the Riverbank Unified School District board elections, according to the provisional vote figures.

The Stanislaus County Elections Office has until Monday, Nov. 21 to canvass the election and declare the final figures.

Candidates Michelle DeCroix Guzman and Angie Timpone trailed in a four-way race for two at-large seats, that of Mitchell whose term was expired, and the other vacated by Pamela Floyd, who stepped down after serving one four year term.

According to results tabulated by closing of the polls on Nov. 8, Mitchell gathered 407 votes or 33.2 percent and Walker garnered 339 or 27.6 percent. Guzman drew 256 votes or 20.9 percent and Timpone 214 votes or 17.4 percent.

A revised count recorded Monday, Nov. 14, showed the same positions but with increased vote figures of 492 for Mitchell, 419 for Walker, 343 for Guzman and 294 for Timpone.

Guzman and Timpone are close friends and campaigned together while Mitchell announced Walker as his preferred choice early in the race.

Mitchell, 50, is a law enforcement officer who took medical retirement following an on-duty traffic accident. He has been a Riverbank resident all his life and served on the school board for 15 years besides running unsuccessfully for Riverbank City Council several years ago.

Walker, 61, has lived in Riverbank for 34 years. He works as a network administrator for the Hickman School District and installed the Riverbank district's first computer system.

Guzman, 30, graduated from Riverbank High, has been a local resident for 18 years and is a teacher of alternative education working in Stockton for the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

Timpone is 37 and employed by a non-profit foster care and adoption agency. Coming from Washington State, she has lived in Riverbank for the last five years.

"I'm excited," said Walker of the election count. "It wasn't a landslide. But I appear to be in second place by less than 100 votes. My hopes and dreams are to serve the community and the students. I want to thank all those who supported me and the teachers and parents who had the confidence to vote for me. I will put the children first and find the best way to serve them."

Walker added he expected to be sworn in at the December board meeting but not seated until January as new board members have a couple of workshops to complete.

"I may try again in 2013," Guzman said of the school board election results. "Angie and I have talked of running again in a couple of years. It was a good experience. I have nothing negative to say. Our positions in the polls stayed pretty steady from the first results to come in."

"Obviously I'm disappointed at the outcome," said Timpone. "I wish more people had gotten out there and voted. There are over 5,600 registered voters in the school district and less than 1,000 voted. I would most definitely consider running again in 2013. I will work harder to make people informed on the issues such as the voting record and attendance pattern of board members. Michelle and I remain committed to the children and parents of Riverbank."

Mitchell was also contacted by The News but had not returned calls for comment by press time.