New Bloomfield to hold runoff for school seat

Recount shows Gracia Backer, Megan Haas each polled 267 votes

The names of Gracia Backer (left), current New Bloomfield School Board president, and New Bloomfield resident Megan Haas will be on a special July ballot after a recount showed they tied in the April election with 267 votes each.

The names of Gracia Backer (left), current New Bloomfield School Board president, and New Bloomfield resident Megan Haas will be on a special July ballot after a recount showed they tied in the April election with 267 votes each. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

The New Bloomfield School District will hold a special election for a board seat after recount request from a New Bloomfield School Board candidate has resulted in a tie.

Callaway County Court records show a writ of recount was issued on May 28, which found an equal number of votes, 267, between Megan Haas and current board president Gracia Backer. The recount took place on June 6.

Original election results showed Backer beating Haas by one vote with 268 over her 267 votes.

Haas said she filed the recount because she understood her rights under Missouri law — a difference with less than 1 percent vote difference can be grounds for a recount.

“Within that legal right, I decided to go ahead and try for it,” Haas said.

Superintendent David Tramel said the special election date has not been finalized, but will likely be mid-July.

A special election, Tramel said, will cost the district about $3,000.

“I’m a winner either way,” Tramel said. “These two ladies are great people.”

Both women again expressed their interested in being on New Bloomfield’s school board.

Haas said her desire to serve the district and community pushed her to run in the first place. She has one child who recently graduated from the high school and another child entering eighth grade and said her parental perspective would benefit the board.

Haas specifically stated she would like to build a rapport between the district and local law enforcement to improve school safety measures while ensuring curriculum and “upper level” teachers are hired to prepare seniors for college or the workforce. She would also like to see that library resources are up to date.

Backer, who has been a lifelong New Bloomfield resident, said she wants to continue to serve on the school board to move forward the progress made in the past four years.

Looking ahead, Backer said she hopes to keep New Bloomfield on a path of upgrading technology and an increase of it in the elementary building, improving test scores, overseeing the textbook rotation and hiring “outstanding” teachers.

“I just want to be a part in the most important institution in our community,” Backer said.

Backer added that she would like to maintain the district’s double-digit reserve fund.

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