EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – District 5 candidate Israel Irrobali will replace Chuck Taylor on the El Paso Independent School District after defeating Vanessa Betts in a runoff election Saturday.
Irrobali received 1,196 votes out of 1,916 total votes in the runoff, or 62 percent of ballots cast. Betts received 720 votes or nearly 38 percent of the vote.
Taylor opted not to run for reelection earlier this year, which left his seat open to a field of five candidates. Betts and Irrobali gained the most votes but did not get over 50 percent of votes during the May 1 election.
El Paso County Elections data shows 1,917 ballots were cast out of a total of 31,687 registered voters. Just over 6 percent of eligible voters turned out to participate in the election.
The District 5 board seat represents the following schools; Barron Elementary, Bradley Elementary, Collins Elementary, Dowell Elementary, Fannin Elementary, Tom Lea Elementary, Newman Elementary, Dr. Nixon Elementary, Whitaker Elementary, Charles Middle, Richardson Middle, Terrace Hills Middle, Andress High, Transmountain Early College High.
Irrobali received heavy support from a PAC mainly funded by local businessmen who also sit on the board of directors for Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development. The political action committee called the Kids First PAC, received major contributions from Woody Hunt and Richard Castro who donated $28,000 each.
Betts received heavy support from the El Paso Federation of Teachers and Support Personnel C.O.P.E and Texas AFT Committee on Political Education. She received over $1,000 from each group to pay for ads and direct mail expenses.