UPDATED: Voters re-elect incumbents, Douthit to School Board

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Four incumbents were re-elected to four-year terms on the Grand Forks School Board in the Tuesday, June 9, election.

Christopher Douthit was elected to serve an unexpired, two-year term on the board.

Amber Flynn, Eric Lunn, Jeff Manley and Cynthia Shabb received the highest vote totals to retain their seats on the board. Their vote totals were: Flynn, 6,938, or 21.06%; Lunn, 7,850, or 23.82%; Manley, 6,446, or 19.56%; and Shabb, 6,498, or 19.72%.

Lee Hensrud, who was not an incumbent, finished fifth. He received 5,066 votes, or 15.37%.

A total of 32,950 votes, including write-in votes, were cast in the race.


To secure the two-year position on the board, Douthit received 4,780 votes, of 49.95%, outpacing Brad Raymond, at 2,043, or 21.35%, and Linda Jenkins, 2,703, or 28.24%. Jenkins had decided to withdraw from the race weeks ago, but not in time to have her name removed from the ballot.

A total of 9,570 votes, including write-in votes, were cast.

Douthit is returning to the School Board having been elected in June 2018, but he resigned in the summer of 2019 to accept a one-year position as interim principal of Schroeder Middle School. On his resignation, the board selected Manley to serve in that vacated position.

Lunn, a pediatrician who has served as a board member since 2000, said he was "humbled and really feel privileged to be able to serve Grand Forks as a School Board member, and looking forward to another four years.

“We’ve got a lot of really heavy issues that we’re going to have to deal with these next few years -- the latest one, of course, being the upheaval in the country about race and race relationships.”

Lunn noted there are important financial issues the board must deal with “and then, of course, our primary goal is the education of the kids in Grand Forks -- that’s our number one priority.”

“I think we have an excellent board; I think we’ve got an excellent administration,” Lunn said. “I also think we have a more engaged public than we’ve had in a long time, and I think that’s going to be helpful, because the more ideas that are thrown out there, and things like that, we’re going to come up with better solutions.”

Flynn said, “We have a really cohesive board right now and have a lot of unfinished projects.”


The work of the school district’s Facility Task Force, and its recommendations, “is one that will be in the back of our minds” as the board prepares for a referendum next year.

“We need to do the best job we can to secure some funding sources,” she said, noting that the board will need to take “a deep dive into our budget.”

Flynn also said she is “excited to work with the City Council more,” adding that “there are more collaborative things we could do with them.”

The newly elected members will join board members Doug Carpenter, Jacqueline Hoffarth, Shannon Mikula and Bill Palmiscno, whose positions were not up for election this year.

These election results are unofficial until certified by county officials.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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