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Chairman of State Board of Education defeats challenger

Some of the other races are still too close to call

SHARE Chairman of State Board of Education defeats challenger

The State Board of Education is getting one, maybe two new faces, according to unofficial election results issued online Tuesday night.

Challenger Michael Jensen of West Valley defeated incumbent Tim Beagley with 59 percent of the vote, according to online results.

"I hope (the voters') confidence in me can be rewarded by helping them," Jensen said. He said he hopes to bring "everyone together for the common goal of educating our children the best we can."

At press time, Richard Moss of Santaquin was edging incumbent Ed Dalton of Erda with 96 percent of votes tallied.

But three other incumbents held their ground.

State Board chairman Kim Burningham of Bountiful edged challenger Christopher Barden of North Salt Lake with 62 percent of the vote. The win followed a tough campaign that included mailers and TV and newspaper spots, uncommon for school-board races.

"I'm just very pleased," Burningham said.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Debra Roberts appeared to have handily defeated over challenger Sara Urquhart, chairwoman of the Dixie Arts Foundation and wife of House Majority Whip Steve Urquhart, R-St. George.

"I'm just really grateful to the voters for being willing to put me back in and let me finish what I've started," Roberts said. "There's a strong voice out there in support of public education, in support of the direction we're headed, and what we're trying to accomplish."

Incumbent Dixie Allen also handily defeated write-in challenger Tod Tesar, who is a member of the Uintah Board of Education.

The 15-member State Board of Education oversees a $2.7 billion budget and sets policy affecting more than 500,000 Utah children.

Incumbents Greg Haws of Hooper and Laurel Brown of Murray and appointee Denis Morrill of Taylorsville ran unchallenged.


E-mail: jtcook@desnews.com