Altshuler, Collister-Lazzari and Clopton lead in District 220
Two incumbents and one newcomer held a slight edge in the contentious Barrington Community Unit District 220 board of education race late Tuesday.
As of midnight, Diana L. Clopton led slightly with 4,100 votes, followed closely by the race's two incumbents, Barry Altshuler with 4,085 and Leah Collister-Lazzari with 4,057 votes, according to the unofficial totals. Seven candidates are running for three, 4-year seats.
Challengers Katey Baldassano, Matt Sheriff and Leonard Munson, who are running as a slate, were close behind with 3,935 votes, 3,728 votes and 3,628 votes, respectively. Another challenger, Nelda Munoz, had 950 votes.
In a race marked by pandemic politics and cultural issues, Collister-Lazzari and Altshuler touted the board's accomplishments during their tenures, including keeping students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and balancing the budget.
Baldassano, Sheriff and Munson were backed by the political action committee for a group called the 1776 Project that put out a flyer criticizing Collister-Lazzari and Altshuler for voting to leave the book "Gender Queer" on Barrington High School shelves and for keeping students out of school during the pandemic. A different mailer from the group urged voters to support an "academic excellence platform" that would "remove pornographic reading materials" and "end the radical equity agenda."
Munoz also opposed "Gender Queer" in public comments at school board meetings. Clopton said she wants "to be a bridge builder" and celebrate what's great about the district.
• Daily Herald staff writer Steve Zalusky contributed to this report.