A 22-year-old Reynolds High School graduate unseated an incumbent in Tuesday's election, winning a seat on the Reynolds School Board.
"It's pretty exciting. It's surreal. I'm thankful to voters that believed in a young, 22-year-old," said Ricardo "Ricki" Ruiz of his win.
Incumbents in the other four open Reynolds seats sailed to victory in preliminary results as of Wednesday afternoon, May 17.
Ruiz had 2,256 votes or 38 percent of the total, which was 552 votes more than incumbent Stevie Chao's 1,704 votes for position 7. Another challenger, Richard Brown, received 1,860 votes.
Ruiz, who graduated from Reynolds High in 2012, is the crime prevention and community outreach specialist for the city of Gresham. He's been active in city and county government and was the driving force behind getting two futsal courts constructed in Vance Park. He's also a graduate of Warner Pacific College in Portland and is working toward a graduate degree in public administration from Southern New Hampshire University.
In position two, incumbent Diego Hernandez won with 3,481 or 60 percent of the vote, trouncing his challenger Matt Craven, who garnered 2,279 votes.
In position 1, incumbent Valerie Tewksbury got 3,880 votes or 65 percent of the total, besting challenger Sara Garcia Gonzalez who garnered 1,998 votes.
Veteran board members John Lindenthal and chairman Joe Teeny ran unopposed and won handily.
The new board members will serve until June 30, 2021.
School board members are unpaid volunteers. Most spend more than a dozen hours per month on school board business. They set budgets, select curriculum and craft policy. They also hire and, if necessary, fire the superintendent.