MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Thursday night's election brought a few shake-ups to the Unified School Board. Those seven school board seats are the only positions that will remain when Memphis City and Shelby County schools merge.
People who used to serve on their respective school boards were hoping for a seat.
In District One, which represents downtown, midtown and part of east Memphis, former MCS board member Freda Williams challenged incumbent Chris Caldwell for the seat. Williams is also currently on the Unified School Board, but Caldwell won the race.
It was a very close race to represent east Memphis in District Four between incumbent Kevin Woods and former MCS board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr. Woods was fighting to keep his seat on the Unified School Board, one of the seats appointed by the Shelby County Commission. Less than 100 points separated the two candidates.
On losing the race to Woods, Whalum stated, "I don't intend to challenge it. What I do intend to do until 2013 is make sure that I fully represent the children in Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools."
"Today is just a celebration of what we knew we could do all along," Woods said of his win. "The people of east Memphis and Hickory Hill spoke loud and clear that the status quo of public education should not be. We just wanted to make a statement tonight that we can do better for our children."
And in District Five, which includes Germantown, Collierville, and parts of Cordova and Southwind, former Shelby County School Board chair David Pickler kept his seat, defeating Kim Wirth.
Outside of the school board incumbent Mike Kernell, who represents District 93 in the Tennessee State House, faced off against G.A. Hardaway, who lost his seat in District 93 because of redistricting. Hardaway earned the victory.
"My work goes on all around. I'm in the community, I come back, I'm walking the community. I walk every time I come back. I walk every weekend while I'm here. I know my community and it speaks for itself," said Hardaway.
Because of redistricting, the new boundaries of District 93 cover parts of Orange Mound, the University of Memphis area, and a little strip of east Memphis. Hundreds of voters in that district did not get to vote in this race because they were given the wrong ballot. Elections officials say those new district boundaries created confusion, and helped lead to that mistake.