The race for the District 3 seat on the Prince George’s County Board of Education was deadlocked Wednesday with seven votes separating newcomer Dinora Hernandez and incumbent Amber Waller.
Hernandez, who was endorsed by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), has 5,167 votes over Waller’s 5,160 votes.
Neither candidate could be reached for comment.
Waller, who is seeking her third term on the board, faced the toughest challenge of her political career against Baker’s hand-picked candidate.
Baker’s three other candidates — Lupi Grady in District 2, Carolyn Boston in District 6 and Sonya Williams in District 9 — won handily. The wins will give Baker, who sought to take over the school system and abolish the elected school board last year, greater influence over the operations of the school district.
Baker spent much of Election Day at polling sites trying to encourage voters to cast ballots for his school board candidates.
Baker said the school system is crucial to his plan to make Prince George’s a force in the region.
“Having people you can work with is important,” Baker said, while passing out campaign fliers for Grady, who he said was enlisted to run against incumbent Peggy Higgins.
Alisha Alexander, the elections administrator, said the election board has county-wide figures on absentee and provisional ballots that are uncounted. Elections officials were trying Wednesday to determine how many were in District 3, she said.
Absentee ballots will be counted Thursday at 10 a.m., Alexander said.
Provisional ballots will be tallied Wednesday, and a possible second round of absentee ballots, that were postmarked Nov. 4, will be counted next Friday.
“Once all the votes are counted, depending on the percentage spread, the losing candidate could request a recount,” Alexander said.