Another Democrat poised to take seat on Central York school board

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

The latest updates to York County's unofficial election results show that one more Democratic candidate has won a seat on the Central York school board. 

After more provisional ballots were counted, the latest results show Rebecca Riek earned enough votes to pass GOP candidate Faith Casale in a race for four open board seats. The previous results had Riek in fifth place among eight candidates, behind Casale by just four votes. 

As it stands, Riek is 23 votes ahead of Casale. It is unclear whether there will be a recount. The county must certify the results by Nov. 22, with most incoming board members sworn in in early December. 

More:York County ready to certify election amid criticism of mail-in ballot procedures

The Central York school board race was an outlier in what appeared to be a Republican-dominated election night. Many GOP candidates won school board seats, even unseating some Democratic incumbents, according to the unofficial results. 

But in Central York, out of six open seats, half are set to be taken by Democratic candidates. GOP incumbent Veronica Gemma is expected to lose her seat, while fellow incumbent and Republican Tim Strickler is expected to keep his. 

Discussions over masks and COVID-19 policies influenced several elections, and multiple candidates identified the public outrage over Central York's book ban, which was later reversed, as a major factor in the outcome.

More:Central York, after 'black eye' of book ban controversy, is the exception in a GOP-dominated election

More:Outgoing Central York board member calls for internal investigation into book ban

"It was a black eye for our district," Democratic candidate Corey Thurman said. 

Gemma was an early supporter of the book ban, and this year Democratic candidates criticized her for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Democrat Amy Milsten, who is expected to win a seat along with Thurman and Riek, said Gemma is a "polarizing figure" in the community, and has more history with the board compared with her fellow incumbent, Strickler.

The York County Board of Elections is scheduled to certify the election results at noon Monday at the York County Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St.

— Reach Erin Bamer at ebamer@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @ErinBamer.