Independent Millard tops OPRF slated candidates

? Top vote-getter hears the news from WJ on cell phone in central India, just back from Buddhist monument.

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By DREW CARTER

Independent Dietra "Dee" Millard appeared to have won the race for District 200 Board of Education, topping candidates with 21 percent of the vote as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Well that's very, very good news," Millard said to the news delivered to her via cell phone by WEDNESDAY JOURNAL. Millard is leading an India trip for Oak Park and River Forest High School students and had just come from Sanchi, a famous Buddhist monument in central India.

"It says to me that the community is not satisfied with the status quo," Millard said, adding that it was her platform?#34;independent from any group and representing a "fresh perspective"?#34;that appealed to voters.

Joining Millard on the board will be incumbent Valerie Fisher with 17.9 percent of the vote, outgoing parks commissioner Jacques Conway with 17.8 percent, and incumbent John Rigas, who was leading Paul Wolfman by four-tenths of one percent.

Election results were based on figures published online by the Chicago Sun-Times. Cook County's website did not function much of election night, and was behind in listing precincts at 9:30 p.m.

Millard's victory would be unusual in that she asked for but was denied backing from the OPRF Community Caucus, a diverse group of high school community members who back candidates for the board.

The caucus backed Conway, Rigas and Wolfman in the four-seat race. The candidates later tapped Fisher to join them on the slate. She was the highest vote-getter of the slate.

Wolfman serves as vice president of the board and presumably would have risen to the presidency if he'd been re-elected.

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