Challengers oust two incumbents from Bellefonte school board

mdawson@centredaily.comNovember 5, 2013 

A Spring Township farmer and a police chief won two of the four seats up for grabs on the Bellefonte Area school board, and they knocked out the board president and vice president.

Rodney Musser and Michael Danneker coasted to victories in Tuesday’s election, with incumbents Chip Aikens and Keith Hamilton joining them in the winners’ circle. They will serve four-year terms.

President Becky Rock finished sixth out of the six candidates, and her loss means the board will have to elect new leadership when it reorganizes in December. Vice-president Jeff Steiner also lost his seat.

According to the unofficial results, Musser was the top vote-getter, with 2,444 ballots cast for him.

Danneker followed, with 2,363 votes, then Aikens at 1,920; Hamilton at 1,831; Steiner at 1,524; and Rock at 1,309.

The win means a return to the school board for the 61-year-old Musser, whose platform was critical of the board’s spending when, several years ago, it bought 105 acres that will house a track.

He was brief in comments Tuesday night.

“I just look forward to serving the community,” he said.

Musser previously served on the board for 111/2 years before stepping aside for family reasons.

Danneker, the police chief, made his first foray into seeking elected office, and he said Tuesday he’s looking forward to getting involved in the school district.

“I’m just excited to represent the Bellefonte Area School District and the community as a whole,” he said, adding that he will “try to be as fair and balanced as I can throughout my term.”

Musser and Danneker dominated the race, as one of the two challengers was the top vote-getter in every one of Bellefonte Area’s 15 precincts.

Incumbent Jenna Moorehead ran uncontested for a two-year term.

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