Pam Orebaugh, Teresa Landa defeat write-in candidates for Central Valley School Board

<p><p>Voters in the Central Valley School District elected school board candidates with opposing views on pandemic policies in Tuesday’s election.</p></p><p><p>Nursing school instructor Pam Orebaugh who argued against mask and vaccine mandates, won a seat on the board.</p></p><p><p>Her top challenger, write-in candidate Stan Chalich, appeared to garner around 34% of the vote. That’s an impressive tally for a write-in candidate, but was well behind Orebaugh’s tally of about 42% of the votes.</p></p><p><p>“The results look very positive and reassuring,” Orebaugh said Tuesday night. Candidate Rob Linebarger, who was on the ballot but endorsed Orebaugh, received 23% of the votes.</p></p><p><p>In the other Central Valley School Board race on Tuesday’s ballot, retired Central Valley teacher Teresa Landa defeated write-in candidate, Bret Howell, who had argued against mask and vaccine mandates.</p></p><p><p>Landa, who ran unopposed in the primary won 83.8% of votes. Write-in candidate Bret Howell, appeared to tally around 16%.</p></p><p><p>“I’m very happy with the results,” Landa said. “The district has been part of most of my life and I’m excited to serve them.”</p></p><p><p>She gave credit to former District 2 representative Tom Dingus, saying that his time on the board made for “big shoes to fill.”</p></p><p><p>“Gosh, I’m surprised. I thought it would be really close but I want to wish my best to Teresa Landa,” Howell said.</p></p><p><p>The election caps a contentious autumn in Spokane County’s second-largest district. It began with a board meeting that ended abruptly when attendees refused to wear masks and continued with a failed recall effort against the three board members who weren’t up for reelection.</p></p><p><p>Both races were dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s been handled by those in power: Gov. Jay Inslee and the current Central Valley board.</p></p><p><p>In an interview last week, Chalich, a retired teacher, referred to Orebaugh’s followers as a “radical group trying to push their interests down your throat.”</p></p><p><p>However, Orebaugh said her supporters said that the bully is Inslee.</p></p><p><p>“We’re being labeled as right-wing extremists, but all we’re asking for is to follow the Constitution.”</p></p>