Updated May 7 at 9:57 p.m.
With all votes unofficially tallied in the May 7 election, Lake Travis ISD board of trustees District 4 candidate John Aoueille has won with 68.8 percent of the vote, or 1,462 votes, beating challenger Ariel Axelrod, who received 31.2 percent of the vote, or 663 votes.
Aoueille could not be reached for comment following the results.
In the District 7 election, Robert Dorsett beat challenger Juan Gutierrez. Dorsett received 75.7 percent of the votes, or 1,541 votes, while Gutierrez received 24.3 percent of the votes, or 494 votes.
Dorsett, whose campaign included focusing on community growth and a future school bond, celebrated his victory at home with friends and family.
“I’m looking forward to getting with the current board and [LTISD Superintendent] Dr. [Brad] Lancaster and making sure that we continue to manage the growth that’s coming [and] continue to purchase the land that we need to build the schools that we need to take care of all the kids we need to house,” he said.
Dorsett said he sat in on many board of trustees meetings during his campaign run and learned that “folks are much more concerned with making sure that academics are first.”
When asked about the need for a new high school in the coming years, he predicted—based on estimated growth numbers—it would likely be necessary in 2022 or 2023.
He said he wanted to look at the many options for the high school, like creating a freshman campus, mixing freshman and sophomores together or having a magnet school, because “ideally, you want to have the academics at the highest level that you can keep them, but you also want the most kids participating in sports.”
The 12 precincts voting in the LTISD board of trustees elections saw 2,469 voters, or 7.4 percent of the 33,379 registered voters.
All results are unofficial until canvassed.
Posted May 7 at 7:10 p.m.
Unofficial early voting results released May 7 show John Aoueille is leading in the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees election for District 4 with 68.4 percent, or 1,065 votes, and Robert Dorsett is leading the District 7 race with 77.1 percent, or 1,156 votes.
Results show that District 4 candidate Aoueille is ahead of challenger Ariel Axelrod, who has 31.6 percent of the votes, or 491 votes.
Aoueille is a commercial insurance advisor with Watkins Insurance Group and an active member of the Lake Travis Education Foundation. He was appointed in July to replace former trustee Dawn Buckingham in the District 7 seat and is now running for the District 4 seat. He said he wants to help maintain LTISD as a top district in Texas, manage student growth and see that the school district continues to challenge students academically.
Buckingham resigned from the school board in June to run for state Senate.
Axelrod, who is challenging Aoueille for the District 4 seat, serves as principal of The Brokerage, a boutique real estate firm. He previously spent more than 27 years in the military. He served on the Texas Department of Transportation 620 feasibility study group and served on the Bylaws and Policy Governance Committee of the Austin Board of Realtors.
He said on his website he is campaigning to ensure the optional homestead exemption—which grants homeowners a 20 percent exemption on taxes—remains available and tax rates remain as low as possible.
Axelrod’s website also states he wants to focus on issues of recapture, or the state’s "Robin Hood" law that collects taxes from property-wealthy districts and redistributes the revenue to property-poor districts; board of trustees transparency; and overcrowding in the school district.
Current District 4 trustee Jason Buddin, who has held the seat for two terms, did not file for re-election.
In District 7, unofficial early voting results show Dorsett ahead of challenger Juan Gutierrez, who has 22.9 percent, or 343 of the votes.
This is a special election to fill the seat of Buckingham for the last year of her three-year term. Another election will be called in 2017 for a full three-year term.
Dorsett served on Bee Cave City Council from 2009-13 and is an attorney with Dorsett, Johnson & Swift LLP. He said on his website that if elected, he would like to focus on community growth and the approaching school bond.
Challenger Gutierrez, who worked in the imports and exports industry and is now retired, said his top priorities include retaining the maximum for school taxes and providing funds and tools to become one of the state’s top 10 school districts.
The District 3 and District 5 board of trustees spots are uncontested and will be filled by Alex Alexander and Kim Flasch, respectively.
This will be Alexander’s third term on the board and Flasch’s second term.
In Texas, school district trustees are elected at large by registered voters and serve an unlimited number of three-year terms, according to LTISD’s website.
All results are unofficial until canvassed. The board of trustees will officially accept the votes after its May 17 meeting, LTISD Director of Communications Marco Alvarado said in an email.