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Mequon-Thiensville School District recall election results: Incumbents defeat challengers

All four school board members defeat recall challengers with nearly 60% of the vote.
Posted at 10:00 PM, Nov 02, 2021

MEQUON — Mequon-Thiensville voters cast their ballots Tuesday in a recall race between incumbents and challengers for school board seats for the Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD).

Unofficial results showed all four school board members defeated recall challengers with nearly 60% of the vote.

The polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and results were announced around 10 p.m.

Below are the unofficial results for each of the four school board seats, according to MTSD.

  • Akram Khan: 58.16%
  • Chris Schultz: 58.93%
  • Erik Hollander: 59.85%
  • Wendy Francour 58.75%

According to officials, 1,352 of 2,354 registered voters in Village of Thiensville cast ballots. That's 57 percent turnout for Thiensville. Mequon saw a 51 percent turnout with 10,258 of 20,225 registered voters in the City of Mequon cast ballots. There was also a 51 percent turnout for eligible voters in the Mequon-Thiensville School District with 11,611 of 22,579 total registered voters casting ballots in the school district.

MTSD school board recalled members
Four of seven MTSD board members are being challenged after a group, Recall MTSD, gathered enough signatures among district voters to force four recall votes.
School Board Recall Candidates
Financial records show GOP donors have backed the recall effort that has four challengers.

Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday the results were showing all four Mequon-Thiensville incumbent school board members were leading in the contentious recall election with each board member at 58 percent or higher. At that time, 8,900 votes were count with eight out of 11 units reporting.

It was first reported in September that four of the seven school board members in the Mequon-Thiensville School District would face a recall election in November. Recall organizers gathered more than 18,000 total signatures, 4,135 for each candidate, in support of the recall, and had them certified in September.

The members who were recalled were board Vice President Wendy Francour and members Chris Shultz, Akram Khan and Erik Hollander.

Incumbent Francour, who was elected to a 3-year term in spring 2020, was challenged by Cheryle Rebholz.

Schultz was challenged by Scarlett Johnson.

Khan, whose seat is up next spring, was challenged by Kris Kittell.

Hollander, elected in spring 2020, was challenged by Charles Lorenz.

Recall supporters say the board members abdicated their responsibilities, turning them over to Superintendent Matthew Joynt. Particularly those surrounding COVID-19 mitigation and masking protocols. Board members have previously said they acted within the boundary of their board duties when delegating some responsibilities to the superintendent.

The recall, which has since gained national attention, was also about who would control the Mequon-Thiensville School Board in the future, but also about past decisions on masks and COVID-19 protocol and conversations around curriculum and race.

Ballotpedia has tracked 82 different school board recall efforts against more than 200 board members nationwide this year alone.

Wisconsin is in the top four when it comes to school board recalls. California leads the way with 25, Wisconsin has 11, Arizona has 10, and across the lake, Michigan has seven.

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