ORANGE, NJ — The Orange Board of Education unofficial election results are in, with challengers Shawneque Johnson, Guadalupe Cabido and Sueann Gravesande winning the three open seats in the race on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Originally, six candidates were running for the three open seats on the Board of Education, but one dropped out, leaving incumbent BOE President E. Lydell Carter, Cabido, Gravesande, Johnson and Fatimah Turner vying for the three open seats. Carter, the sole incumbent, was running a joint campaign with Turner, and Cabido, Gravesande and Johnson were also running a joint campaign together.
As of press time on election night, with all 17 districts in Orange reporting in, Johnson took a decided lead, with Cabido coming in second and Gravesande coming in third. They will take the seats vacated by longtime board members E. Lydell Carter, Courtney Thomas and Kyleesha Hill.
All results from the Nov. 5 election remain unofficial until certified by County Clerk Christopher Durkin.
According to the Essex County Clerk’s Office website on election night, Johnson received 1,166 votes, or 27.55 percent, while Cabido garnered 861 votes, or 20.34 percent. Fellow candidate Gravesande came in third, with 829 votes, or 19.58 percent. Carter came in fourth, with 748 votes, or 17.67 percent. Turner came in fifth, with 620 votes, or 14.65 percent.
Prior to the election, both Cabido and Gravesande attended the BOE candidates debate on Sunday, Oct. 27. Promising she will bring more accountability to the district, Gravesande told the Record-Transcript at the event: “My impact is to ensure that there is accountability and I will hold the superintendent accountable.”
Cabido stressed the importance of ensuring the district is reaching all parents, regardless of any barriers.
“Regardless of the diversity, I feel we need to do a much better job as a district in terms of engaging parents,” Cabido told the Record-Transcript at the event.
There were nine write-in votes.