It's finally time to call it: Susan Heredia, Ryan Herche and Scott Dosick are the winners in the 10-way race for three seats on the Natomas Unified school board.
It has been a cliffhanger. Just a few hundred votes have divided candidates as they played musical chairs with the first three spots while the county updated election results over the last two weeks.
But the music has stopped.
Incumbent Heredia was the top voter-getter with 6,198 votes. Herche finished second with 5,733 votes, while Dosick came in third with 5,566 votes, according to results released by the county Wednesday.
The rest of the field trailed by at least 400 votes.
"I'm excited about serving my fourth term and I thank the voters for their confidence," Heredia said Wednesday.
She plans to spend some time getting acquainted with the new board members and working with the rest of the board to build a unified vision. "We need to build that vision around input from parents, teachers, and the community and school employees," Heredia said.
The county has finished counting mail-in ballots, but it is still counting provisional ballots used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter's eligibility.
About 27,000 provisional ballots were yet to be processed countywide as of Wednesday. But with only a small number of them left in Natomas, no change is expected in the school district race, said Brad Buyse, the county's campaign services manager.
The election comes on the heels of a tumultuous period at the school district that included near bankruptcy and continued negotiations to resolve a land dispute.
The district began to reorganize in January after a board-commissioned report by School Services of California Inc. blasted Natomas Unified management for excessive employee sick days and a culture that did not hold employees accountable.
Heredia, Herche a 27-year-old legislative analyst and Dosick a 41-year-old teacher and business owner will be sworn in Dec. 12.
"I'm really fired up," said Herche, who ran unsuccessfully for the school board in 2010. "I'm ready to get to work. I think it will be a challenge."
Herche said he will make good on his promise to ask the board for a resolution requiring district meetings be videotaped. He also will work on improving the district's low-performing schools and bridging the achievement gap.
Dosick, who has served on the citizens bond oversight committee and budget advisory committee, said he is ready to "hit the ground running."
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to work with my fellow school board members and to follow through on all we campaigned on ensuring all 12,000 students and parents have access to high-quality programs and services," he said.