Shirley Wilson, incumbent trustee and current school board chair, waits with baited breath as some of the final polls came in Saturday night. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News

VOTING DAY: Abbotsford votes no-change school board, deals blow to anti-SOGI

All incumbents running and one former trustee voted in, few anti-SOGI candidates on board

The 2018 school board election has effectively been a no-change vote in Abbotsford, with only one non-incumbent taking a seat.

RELATED: Here’s what you need to know about Abbotsford’s 17 school board candidates

Korky Neufeld had been a three-term trustee, but did not run in 2014, instead making a failed bid to become the federal Conservative Party candidate for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

Neufeld, who could not be reached for comment Saturday night, returned to the school board race this year, running on an anti-SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) platform and rose to the top of the ranks with 12,388 votes — just under 100 more than second-place Stan Petersen.

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But it does not appear to be his anti-SOGI platform that took him to the top — including Neufeld, just two of five candidates running against SOGI made school board.

Five candidates gave SOGI 123, a learning resource available for B.C. teachers to meet provincial curriculum learning outcome requirements, poor marks in an Abbotsford News survey: Kathryn Sobko, Earl Storey, Krista Cardinal, Korky Neufeld and Phil Anderson.

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That lacking turnout for anti-SOGI candidates means the Abbotsford School District likely won’t come knocking at the provincial government’s door for changes to the SOGI intitiatives.

Another candidate, Jared White, who appeared on some lists on social media as an anti-SOGI candidate, but who gave the learning resources neutral marks, was just 29 votes shy of landing on school board.

Candidates hoping for change on school board generally on the other side of the spectrum, Shelley Godwin and Heidi Smit-Vinois, did not perform as well. Godwin landed in 11th overall, four spots shy of school board, and Smit-Vinois came in 15th.

Holding up the rear, at 4,009 votes and 2.69 per cent of the vote, was Graham Evan MacDonell.

Here’s how the candidates line up on various issues (scroll past infographic for full [unofficial] results):

How your vote counted for Abbotsford school board
Infogram

Here’s the full unofficial results (bold means elected):

Korky NEUFELD: 12,388 – 8.31%

Stan PETERSEN: 12,295 – 8.24%

Shirley WILSON: 11,425 – 7.66%

Preet S. RAI: 11,091 – 7.44%

Rhonda PAULS: 10,327 – 6.93%

Phil ANDERSON: 10,064 – 6.75%

Freddy LATHAM: – 9,568 – 6.42%

Jared WHITE (Abbotsford ParentsFIRST): 9,540 – 6.40%

Krista CARDINAL: 9,351 – 6.27%

Earl STOREY: 8,514 – 5.71%

Shelley GODWIN: 8,319 – 5.58%

Raj PATARA: 7,860 – 5.27%

Kathryn SOBKO: 6,945 – 4.66%

Kuldeep SINGH: 6,486 – 4.35%

Heidi SMIT-VINOIS: 5,764 – 3.87%

Mike BATTEL: 5,179 – 3.47%

Graham Evan MACDONELL: 4,009 – 2.69%

Find our Abbotsford Election Hub here.

RELATED: Abbotsford candidate list released as nomination period closes

Find all local election-related coverage here.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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