Cortney Stephenson rallies to take third BOE seat by 12 votes

West Milford. The latest updated vote totals from Passaic County show challenger Cortney Stephenson taking the third seat of the Board of Education by 12 votes.

| 16 Nov 2019 | 11:30

Every vote certainly counted in the Board of Education race this year.

After falling behind Robert Woodier Jr. by four votes for the third seat on the board, Cortney Stephenson gained 16 votes to now lead by 12, 1,657-1,645, according to the latest update by Passaic County on Monday.

“I am looking forward to serving my community, my hometown,” Stephenson said in a Facebook post Friday night.

The initial unofficial results on election night did not include absentee or provisional ballots.

The updated results are official as of Monday, according to the county.

As it stands now, Stephenson will join Jaycen Stillman and Michael Conklin on the board in January.

Stillman got the most votes with 2,043, followed by Conklin with 1,799, according to the updated results.

Voters turned away incumbents Will Cytowicz and Steven Drew with 1,520 and 1,465 votes respectively, according to the updated numbers.

“If this stands, which I feel it will, congratulations to Cortney Stephenson,” Woodier said Friday night in a post on Facebook. “Very well deserved and the township’s schools will be in great hands with you, Michael Conklin and Jaycen Stillman joining the remaining board members.”

In the Facebook thread, Stephenson replied to Woodier, thanking him for his post.

“I cannot thank you enough for being so gracious,” her post said. “Your ideas, insight and voice are so needed. I would love for you to be part of this team. I hope you run next year.”

Both candidates said last week that they would accept whatever the result of the race was and not ask for a recount.

"I would not ask for a recount,” Stephenson said last week. “Rob Woodier will be fantastic as a Board of Ed member."

He agreed.

"I would echo Cortney's statement,” he said. “I would not request a recount as she would be great for the district."

Board members volunteer and each term is for three years.