KLEIN, Texas — Three years after becoming Klein ISD’s first African-American board trustee, Doug James is surprised by how this week’s election played out.
"I never imagined I'd be waiting like the presidential candidates," said James. "No way."
James, who currently serves as board president, lost to challenger Alvin Vaughn by just 10 votes according to the unofficial tally.
Totals were 41,414 votes to 41,424.
It's something James partly blamed on voter apathy and the race’s position on the ballot.
It was below more high-profile contests.
"You got a lot of people who don’t really care about the bottom on the ballot," said James. "So, you’re going to get a big segment of folks who, you know, spend their time at the top and say “forget the bottom.”
Vaughn, an IT professional with three boys and a wife who’s a teacher, relied on a mostly word-of-mouth campaign and tells me he finally has a chance to give back.
"We all have a vested interest in kids and, personally, coming from a rough background, I know how important it is to have a really good well-founded, well-rounded education,” said Vaughn.
Right now, the clerk’s office is still counting provisional and mail-in ballots which can make a big difference in close races on the national or local level.
“I am honored to serve, you know, if that opportunity arises or is given to me," said Vaughn. "But, if not, then I will certainly support, you know, Doug as well.”
James, who believes he’s accomplished a lot during his first term, planned to wait and see if he should request a recount.
"Everything about 2020 has been hard," said James. "So, why would I think this wouldn’t be hard?”
We're told the school board will canvass the votes on Nov. 19 after results are final.
Either James or Vaughn will start their term at the December board meeting.