Tue 11:24pm: Newcomer gets overwhelming victory on Niles school board

NILES — In the city’s school board race between five candidates for two open slots, a political newcomer ran away with one of the seats, while an incumbent was re-elected in Tuesday’s general election.

According to incomplete unofficial results, voters believed the experience of 62-year-old Mary Ann McMahon, a former teacher who retired after 39 years, was enough to give her the majority of votes this election season.

McMahon finished the night with 32 percent of the vote, nearly 9 percentage points in front of the next-closest candidate.

McMahon taught students from grades K-3 at Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Washington elementary schools. She retired on July 1.

Now she looks to begin her career on Niles’ Board of Education with overwhelming support by the community.

According to McMahon, her priorities on the board will be updating security plans for the three new buildings opened in the past year, while increasing student achievement by “clustering” children into smaller groups on similar levels.

McMahon was unavailable for comment Tuesday night following several attempts to contact her.

The closest competition to McMahon was incumbent board president Tony Perrone, who finished with 23.1 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Lori Hudzik (20.4 percent) will give up the seat she gained in March after a vacancy was created with the resignation of Eric Lanham.

Challengers Bobby Seifert (18.0 percent) and Jackie Latronica-Matig (6.4 percent) came up short in their respective bids for school board.