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Posted: November 2, 2010 11:55 p.m.

BOE District 3 Winner: Shakila Henderson-Baker

By Brittany Thomas/

It was an emotional week for Shakila Henderson-Baker. Although she won the seat for District 3 Newton County Board of Education on Tuesday, she lost her biggest supporter, her father. Henderson-Baker, a Democrat, ran a tight race against Republican Kevin Wade, with Henderson-Baker receiving 4,667 votes and Wade 3,321.

"I want to thank everybody who supported me throughout my campaign," said Henderson-Baker after the results were in, saying that she had not been concentrating as fully on her campaign in the last few weeks due to the illness of her father, who died Saturday.

The parent of two elementary school children, she has previously said that her desire to run for a seat on the board of education was to advocate for children to ensure that they receive a quality education.

"Children become victims of adult decisions especially in the wake of the budget crisis school systems are facing," she said in a previous interview. "I do not want to see our children's education jeopardized for rushed decisions. I want to open the lines of communication between the school system, the board and parents."

When the final numbers were announced, Henderson-Baker and her family screamed and clapped their hands, but shortly thereafter the tears came again.

"Every time I take this seat it will be a reminder of my father," she said, crying. "He was such a huge supporter and after every event I would call him and talk to him about it and he would tell me to make sure I let people know me and that's what I've done throughout this campaign. I know that if he were here he would be screaming right along with me."

 

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