Montana creationism
Tide turns on origins policy:
Winners vow to change controversial Darby policy

By JENNY JOHNSON Staff Reporter, Ravalli Republic, May 5, 2004 - original

Voters flocked to the polls Tuesday to cast decisive votes in both the Hamilton and Darby school board elections.

Both districts had record turnouts at about 50 percent.

Preliminary counts showed incumbent Bob Wetzsteon and Erik Abrahamsen with a 42 percent lead over incumbent Gina Schallenberger and Robert House in the Darby school board race for two three-year terms.

Wins by Abrahamsen and Wetzsteon make a weighty change on the school board, shifting the tide against the controversial objective origins science policy. Both candidates don't support the policy that passed first reading but now teeters on extinction. Voters spoke out casting votes for the pair 2-to-1 over Schallenberger and House, who support the policy.

Counts at 9 p.m. indicated that all three proposed levies were failing. Hamilton asked voters to support a $350,000 general fund levy, a $120,000 ongoing technology levy and a $50,000 10-year building reserve levy.

Initial voter counts indicated that 2,888 of the 5,678 Hamilton School District voters showed up at the polls.

At Darby, nearly 1,100 of the 2,152 voters cast ballots.

Results of the Stevensville and Florence levies weren't available at presstime. See Thursday's Ravalli Republic for complete tallies.