After an unprecedented tie in the contest for a seat on the North Bellmore Board of Education forced a runoff election, incumbent JoAnn DeLauter defeated Frank LaMagra in the second vote on June 25.
Two board seats were up for election on May 21. Peter Mayo defeated incumbent Rosemarie Corless by 129 votes in one race, while, improbably, DeLauter and LaMagra garnered 799 votes each. So, in accordance with state law, they faced off in another election to break the tie.
DeLauter won her third term by 173 votes, with 556 votes to LaMagra’s 383. Of the 939 residents who voted in the special election, 87 did so by absentee ballot.
Voters in the district, who live in either North Bellmore or part of North Merrick, cast their ballots at Newbridge Road Elementary School. More than a dozen people stayed to hear Mark Schissler, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, announce the results.
Schissler said he thought the turnout was decent for a special election, and DeLauter agreed. She noted that she was grateful that the community felt that the election was important, and that she was re-elected. “I’m very honored that the community has faith in me to continue what I started five years ago,” she said. “Moving forward, this entire board will be vigilant in advocating for the children in this district.”
DeLauter joined the board in 2008, when she was appointed after another trustee moved out of the neighborhood. She was re-elected at a mandatory end-of-year election, and again the next year, when her seat’s term was up. She has also been a member of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education for two years.
Before she became a board member, DeLauter served on several PTA committees and site-based teams while her four children were enrolled in schools in North Bellmore. She was the co-president of the PTA at the Park Avenue School from 2005 to 2007, at Grand Avenue Middle School from 2004 to 2006 and at Mepham High School from 2006 to 2008.