Eden Prairie voters reelected three current Eden Prairie Schools (EPS) board members Tuesday night and added two new members.
Incumbents Steve Bartz, Debjyoti “DD” Dwivedy, and Aaron Casper were elected to full, four-year terms, as was new candidate Abby Libsack. First-time candidate Dennis Stubbs was elected to fill a two-year special election seat.
Results: Four full-term seats (4-year term)
In this race, voters were asked to choose up to four candidates to fill regular four-year terms starting in January 2023.
The winning candidates were: Steve Bartz with 13,227 votes , or 18.5%; Debjyoti “DD” Dwivedy with 12,879 votes, or 18.02); Abby Libsack with 11,966 votes, or 16.74%; and Aaron Casper with 11,934 votes, or 16.69%.
Candidates who did not win seats in this election were Jody Ward-Rannow with 10,672 votes, or 14.93%, and Francesca Pagan-Umar with 10,572 votes, 14.79%. Write-in candidates received 235 votes, or .33% of the total.
First elected in 2021, incumbent Bartz is currently a director and treasurer of the EPS Board. Bartz told EPLN: “I am honored to win the trust of Eden Prairie voters in this year’s election. I especially want to thank my family and my campaign team, Amy, Ashley, and Melissa. I am excited to continue the good work being done in the district and making improvements that best serve our students, families, and community.”
He added, “I would like to extend my best wishes to all of the candidates and congratulations to those that won their respective elections.”
Currently serving his third year on the board, Casper was treasurer for two years and now serves as vice-chair.
After his re-election, Casper said, “I want to thank all of our school board candidates for their willingness to run for the purpose of making Eden Prairie Schools one of the best districts in the state. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside committed and passionate departing board members and welcome the opportunity to work with our newest members of the board along with my existing colleagues.”
Dwivedy was elected to the Eden Prairie School Board in 2019 and serves as its clerk. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to the people of Eden Prairie for entrusting me once again to serve,” he said. “I will work harder to make sure we are a top-notch district in the state prioritizing success of each student.”
He also thanked EP voters for approving the referendum: “It sets us up for excellence and stability for the next five years (at least) and I am grateful for their commitment to the future of Eden Prairie.”
First-time candidate Libsack, whose background includes work as an elementary school teacher, said, “Thank you for your confidence and votes, Eden Prairie! I look forward to supporting our schools as a new Eden Prairie school board member.”
In the EPLN Voter Guide, Libsack said that if elected, “I would hope to be in touch with schools, teachers, staff, students, and families more often to hear about what is working well and what we could do to improve.”
Results: Special election seat (2-year term)
In the race for the special two-year seat, Dennis Stubbs won his first term on the board with 10,986 votes, or 53.61%, over Isaac Kerry, who received 9,443 votes, or 46.08%. Write-in candidates received 65 votes, or .32% of the total.
Later this month, Stubbs will begin serving the remaining two years left on the term of a school board member who resigned in September 2021. That seat has been filled for the past year by Pagan-Umar.
Stubbs has been associated with the building trade for 20 years and currently oversees a drywall company in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
“I’m excited and can’t wait to get to work,” he told EPLN Tuesday night after learning of his victory. “When I was knocking on doors, I got to know how the community feels. Everyone told me they love the district and want it to keep going in the same direction.”
Stubbs also praised opponent Kerry’s commitment and dedication: “I got to know him during the campaign and I appreciate him a lot. He’s a good guy who cares a lot about our kids, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
Editor’s note: This was updated Thursday with comments from Debjyoti “DD” Dwivedy and Abby Libsack.
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