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Gutmann wins special election for Urbandale School Board seat

Gutmann will fill the board vacancy of Judy Downs, who resigned in March. He will serve on the Board through November 2023.

URBANDALE, Iowa — Daniel Gutmann, a teacher in the Urbandale School District, won the Urbandale School Board special election on Tuesday. 

Gutmann will fill the board vacancy of Judy Downs, who resigned in March. He will serve on the Board through November 2023.

Gutmann took home 56% of the vote. His opponent, Steve Avis, received 44%.

Originally, the board intended to appoint someone to fill Downs' position. However, according to Iowa Starting Line, a stalemate led the board to put the question to a vote. 

A petition requesting an election was also circulated around the time of Downs' resignation, amassing 1,785 signatures.

Avis, a Certified Public Accountant, campaigned on issues such as school security and parental involvement. 

"As a Board Director, I will make parental involvement a priority within our school district and to listen to parental concerns and to provide feedback when needed," Avis said in a statement to the school district.  

Gutmann, who formerly served in the children's mental health field, focused on topics such as diversity, transparency and accountability. 

"I am a proud teacher, and as the only candidate working in a school, I can guarantee I bring to the board a thorough understanding of the issues facing Urbandale Schools and how best to build a leading district in our state," Gutmann told the school district.

Gutmann reacted to his win on Facebook, thanking voters for their support.

"Urbandale came together to move forward from the divisions afflicting our community in recent years," Gutmann said. "We focused on the important issues facing our kids and families now. We sought solutions together instead of dwelling upon our differences. We celebrated pulling more people in, rather than casting the others aside."

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