On Thursday, March 13, 2014, the Pasco County Division of Elections tabulated votes for the tri-annual election process for the 2014-2017 USEP Officers. Beginning on February 27th, using ballots generated by the Division of Elections, members of the United School Employees of Pasco voted by mail with ballots returned to and tabulated by the Division of Elections.
Two candidates, Kenny Blankenship and Pat Connolly, ran for President, and two candidates, Bill Hull and Gay Kennedy, ran for School Related Personnel (SRP) Vice President. The Teacher Vice President Lee Kulikauskas, Secretary-Treasurer Cheryl Vinson and Executive Board members were elected by acclimation and did not appear on the ballot. Candidates for President must be USEP members from either the instructional or SRP bargaining units. The Vice Presidents must come from their respective units.
The official results, as certified by Brian Corley, Pasco County Supervisor of Elections, and Jane Maxson, Chairperson of the USEP Elections Committee, are as follows:
For the office of President: Kenny Blankenship, 490 votes (54.69%); Patrick Connolly, 406 votes (45.31%).
For SRP Vice President: Bill Hull, 286 votes (35.97%); Gay Kennedy, 509 votes (64.03%).
USEP President Lynne Webb, who did not seek reelection, congratulated the winners and pledged to provide support and assistance to ensure a smooth transition for the new president, who takes office June 1st. Webb also expressed gratitude to the Supervisor of Elections and staff for providing professional and credible support to USEP during this important internal election. “Our members can be assured that their votes were treated with the utmost care and security,” Webb stated.
Jane Maxson, Chairperson of the USEP Elections Committee, stated, “We have used the Pasco County Division of Elections since the early nineties, and while there are expenses involved in providing ballots by mail, we have been very pleased with the courtesy, efficiency and professionalism of Brian Corley and his staff. It affords our members the opportunity to vote at their convenience and provides them with an accurate and efficient tally of votes that are undisputable.”
Newly elected USEP President Kenny Blankenship stated that he was thankful and humbled by the results and the support that he received from the building representatives and members who supported his candidacy. “I am dedicated and deeply committed to work on behalf of all employees to defend and improve contractual rights, ensure dignity and respect, and strengthen the USEP membership and organizational unity for both units.” Blankenship stated. “In order to be successful, we will need USEP members to continue their active role and potential members to join us and be actively engaged in the cause of improving our working conditions, which are our students learning conditions. We must unite to accomplish the goals and desires that we all deem important.”
Click here to see the official vote tabulation from the Pasco Supervisor of Elections.