Julie Steele is now barely ahead of Jennifer Gilmore in the race for the Olathe Board of Education Member 3 seat, according to the Wednesday election update. She now leads by fewer than 25 votes.
Tuesday night, Gilmore was leading Steele by just a handful of votes and declared victory on social media. Steele and Gilmore did not respond to the Olathe Reporter’s request for comment Tuesday night.
Steele, in an emailed press release Wednesday, accused Gilmore of “prematurely” claiming she’d won the election.
"Julie Steele recognizes that this race is entirely too close to call and she looks forward to participating in the democratic process of ensuring that every vote is counted, including those that are still in ballot boxes and the mail, as well as any provisional ballots that have been cast and have not yet been processed," the press release says.
Gilmore and Steele emerged from the primary election in August from a crowded field vying for the seat currently held by Brent McCune. However, Gilmore fell behind Steele in August by about 800 votes.
In all, 25,000 or so votes have been counted in the race so far for the general election. The results from the Olathe Board of Education races and all other municipal elections are not final. More tallies will be reported throughout the week, and the results will be canvassed on Nov. 9. When all of that is complete, the election results will be final.