Board of Education elections for the Milford School District were held on Tuesday. Hunter Emory won the open at-large seat, which holds a five-year term, and he beat out seven candidates to do so.
According to the Kent County Board of Election's unofficial results, Emory won the election with 201 votes. He will replace current board member Paul Faulkner, who did not run for re-election.
"It's pretty exciting, you know," Emory said. "I try to be humble about things when I get something like this. I'm excited and thankful for what the town, the students and the teachers did for me. I'm going to try to do the best I can to help and do the best for Milford."
Behind Emory were Natalie Shockley with 142 votes, Kevin Wayne Marshall with a total of 91 votes, Michael Wells with 56 votes, Alan Southard with a total of 34 votes and Robert Vincelette with eight votes.
"My Family and I would like to thank everyone for all their love and support during the election," Wells said. "We would like to extend a congratulations to Hunter Emory. We are confident positive changes will come for our district and all will benefit, especially our students."
Vincelette is still standing behind the major principle of his campaign.
"My platform that football doesn't belong in high schools was very unpopular," he said. "In the early 19th century and late 18th century the abolition of slavery was not popular, but people had to begin somewhere. This is my start. It may be decades before we get rid of football but I had to start somewhere."
Marshall, Shockley and Southard could not be reached for comment.
Emory's campaign took on a grassroots model. He contacted small business owners, who in turn spread the word about Emory to those they knew in the community. He also used Facebook as a means to spread the word and to remind people to get out and vote on Tuesday.
"I've been part of campaigns before but only in the background," Emory said. "I've put up signs, helped write speeches, lined up engagements. This is my first time in the candidate seat. I learned a lot about how to reach out to people, what angle to take when talking to people, what groups to meet with."
The 27-year-old State Farm agent already has a few issues he'd like to tackle. The planning and building of the new Milford Middle School being one of them, state testing being another.
"A lot of teachers are having a hard time trying to stay on top of state testing," he said. "With Race to the Top money disappearing, we need to make sure there's an environment for teachers to feel comfortable to handle that pressure. We need to make sure we have all our bases covered so they can do the job they want to do."
Page 2 of 2 - Emory is not the first member of the Emory family to serve on the Milford School Board. Emory's father, Patrick, currently serves on the board.
"I go to the beat of my own drum," Hunter Emory said. "My dad and I are from different generations. I'm going to have my own opinions. There's stuff we don't agree on already. I can whole-heartedly say that I'm my own person."
Hunter Emory also wants to focus on giving the community a voice at the school board.
"We need to reach out," he said. "I want to go out to the community, to the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, to churches and speak to groups, speak to them about what our thought process is and to get input from them. I want to have an open line of communication with the citizens, students and parents."
Emory's term will begin on July 1. His term will end on June 30, 2018.