written candidate of Warwick school board certified as election winner, successfully overthrows GOP-approved board chair | Power and politics of the Palestinian Authority

A written candidate for the Warwick School Board was officially declared the winner on Thursday, ending the last contested race in the 2021 municipal election.

For six weeks, the outcome remained undecided as a judge weighed whether 139 written votes should count towards candidate Emily Zimmerman’s total. Without those votes, which appeared as “Emily Zimmer” to county election officials, she ran out of 92 votes to topple the district school board chairman, Republican Mike Landis.

Judge Dennis Reinaker’s initial decision not to count the “Zimmer” votes prompted Zimmerman and his attorney, Eric Winter, to file a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court. While that appeal awaited court action, Reinaker reconsidered his previous ruling and filed a legal brief saying Zimmerman should get those votes.

Zimmerman’s victory was certified after Winter withdrew his case from Commonwealth Court, allowing Reinaker to issue a new order on Thursday adding the 139 contested votes to his tally.

Landis, the chairman of the board, was seated as Zimmerman’s case progressed, according to Christa Miller, the county’s top election official. Miller said his office told Warwick’s board that Landis’ victory could be overturned once the written dispute is resolved.

On Tuesday, Landis participated as a member in the official post-election reorganization board meeting and was appointed to serve on two board committees.

But when the board meets later this month, Zimmerman said she will be sworn in and assigned to committees.

Zimmerman thanked the conservative militant group FreePA for supporting his campaign, as well as Reinaker for his “integrity, wisdom and professionalism” in changing his mind about the “Zimmer” votes.

“Overall, we are relieved, we are filled with gratitude and we are delighted that the truth is being told,” Zimmerman said.

Landis did not respond to a request for comment.

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