Cole Thornton

(Essex) -- After Tuesday's elections, a new face will be on the Essex School Board.

Unofficial results peg Cole Thornton as the runner-up and second candidate to be elected to the board gaining 136 votes or 29.5%, behind incumbent Rebecca Franks who earned 195 votes, or 42.3%. Thornton says he is grateful to the community for giving him another chance serve the district.

"I guess I'm grateful that the people here decided to trust me with their vote to be on the school board," Thornton said. "Two years ago, when I ran I filed my papers wrong so I had to run as a write in. People were asking me to run again, so somebody must have figured there was some reason to work me in on the school board, so I'm grateful they elected me."

Thornton says he believes his family still being in the district, as well as some unwavering beliefs hoping to continue to improve the relations between the community and school administration helped propel him to victory.

"You know I have three kids in school still," Thornton said. "And I've never had any other intention, since the whole deal with the former superintendent, for the school to remain open. I think that helped because there's a lot of people who are concerned about it, and I've never wavered on that, and I don't intend to waver on that."

Thornton says he looks forward to continue expanding the Career Academy and hopefully bring about a welding program for the district.

On the campaign trail, Thornton said he hopes to also rejuvenate the athletic programs in the district.

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