Preliminary results from a byelection Saturday, May 29, to elect a new Vernon School Board trustee show Jenelle Brewer (bottom right) edging out Philipp Gruner (top right) by one vote. Julie Melanson (lower left) was third and Christie Tujik fourth in the vote to replace the late Mollie Bono. (Contributed)

Vernon school board by-election decided by single vote

Jenelle Brewer edges out Philipp Gruner 151-150 in four-person race

  • May. 30, 2021 12:00 a.m.

One vote.

That was the difference in Saturday’s Vernon School District trustee by-election that saw Jenelle Brewer edge Philipp Gruner 151-150 in the final preliminary election results. Gruner has accepted the result and called Brewer to offer his congratulations.

“We had a good discussion around some of my platform priorities and Jenelle’s,” said Gruner. “I wish her the best of luck in making our public school system as best as it can be.”

Julie Melanson was third in the voting with 57 votes while Christie Tujik was fourth with 25 votes.

“I would like to thank everyone who made it out to vote in this election,” said Brewer on her Facebook page. “It is important to exercise our right to vote in a democratic process. I am fortunate to have the best team to guide me, with many family and friends supporting me every step of the way. I am grateful for each and every one of you and your contributions, including getting out to vote! I could not have done this without you.”

The by-election was held to replace the late Mollie Bono, who died in office in February 2021.

Preliminary results released by chief election officer Lynn Jameson show Brewer received 64 votes on general voting day Saturday, May 29, while Gruner received 48 votes, Melanson 30 and Tujik 17.

Gruner had received 102 votes during a pair of advance voting polls, while Brewer garnered 87 votes.

“As for the low voter turnout, it is disappointing that there wasn’t more voters despite some challenging current topics,” said Gruner. I’d like to thank all of my supporters, the partner groups, and the district team who ran the by-election.

Residents of the City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan Electoral Areas B and C were eligible to cast ballots.

This story was updated Tuesday, June 1, with comments from Brewer and Gruner

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