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A tight runoff election for Midland’s open school board seat ended Tuesday with John Trischitti III as the presumed winner, according to unofficial voting results.

Of the 1,239 total votes cast, which equates to a voter turnout of 8 percent, Trischitti received 645 and Kirk received 594 — a margin of just 51 votes.

The runoff for District 5, which represents the rapidly growing area of Central and North Midland, was called after none of the three candidates — Trischitti, Heidi Kirk, or Thomas Wolfmueller — received over 50 percent of the vote on November 6. Of the three, Kirk and Trischitti received approximately 37 and 33 percent, respectively.

Tuesday’s results served as a contrast to the November 6 general election results, where Kirk, a former Lee High School teacher, was the front-runner in the three-way race.

In the runoff, Kirk received the endorsement of Wolfmueller, who came in third place in the general election by about 40 votes, as well as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Midland Students First PAC endorsed Trischitti.

Trischitti currently serves as the director of Midland County Public Libraries and campaigned on his knowledge of government budgets and volunteer experience on local and state boards. He will be filling the seat most recently held by Karen Nicholson, who retired earlier this year and was the only woman serving on Midland’s school board.

“I am the only candidate with extensive experience working for and with a taxing entity and understand government budgeting and board governance,” he wrote in a letter to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “I have served on boards for local and state nonprofits, including Midland Need to Read and the Salvation Army and currently serving on the Midland Airport Board, and I am also a Texas PTA Life member. All of these experiences have prepared me to serve the community in the role of school board member.”