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20121106 LJISD School Board Candidates CAB 0153Arnoldo Ochoa listens as Isaac Sulemana talks on the phone with Team Excellence’s campaign secretary about discrepancies at a polling location. Team Excellence candidates did not receive enough votes to take the seats on the La Joya Independent School Board. Progress Times photo by Carina A. BrunsonIt was a somber evening at Team Excellence’s campaign headquarters in La Joya Tuesday as the election results for La Joya Independent School District school board started coming in. Both Arnolodo Ochoa and Isaac Sulemana were quite surprised at the outcome.

“We were confident,” said Sulemana.

Both candidates believe there were too many issues at some polling locations and refused to surrender too quickly. Calls were coming in to them saying numbers were not adding up.

“Something’s wrong,” said Ochoa.

Sulemana said there were discrepancies in the amount of people that voted and what the machines were totaling. The concern is if there were issues and discrepancies during Election Day, then what is that to say about early voting results, said Sulemana.

Although Sulemana wants to look into the discrepancies further, they are both ready to hand over the job.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Sulemana.

In Palmview, Team Liberty was having a party, enjoying the outcome of the school board elections.

Oscar “Coach” Salinas said he saw the people of LJISD express their voices with their votes in this election.

“Change is inevitable,” said Salinas.

Jesus “Chuy” Avendaño said he is very proud to of his team and ready to start working for the betterment of the students of the district.

Espie Ochoa said she has made a promise to the people. She is determined to uphold values such as transparency and integrity.

About being on the board with the possibility of split decisions, she said she knows they will come together to work together because they are there for the same purpose. At the end, she did receive support from J.J. Peña and Johnn Alaniz. “I know we are going to work well together,” said Espie Ochoa.

“I know my colleagues are still there for our community,” she said about the Team Excellence candidates.

“It’s all for them,” she said about the community. “It’s their victory. We’re just their representatives.”

Team Excellence consisted of Mari Gonzalez (Pl. 2), Narciso “Chicho” Solis (Pl. 4), Isaac V. Sulemana (Pl. 5), Irene Garcia (Pl. 6), and Arnoldo Ochoa (Pl. 7).

Team Liberty, the winning slate, is J.J. Garza (Pl. 2), Jesus “Chuy” Solis (Pl. 4), Espie Ochoa (Pl. 5), Oscar “Coach” Salinas (Pl. 6) and Joel Garcia (Pl. 7).

Mari Gonzalez received 4,297 votes while 6,912 voted were received for J.J. Garza, according to the unofficial tally provided by the Hidalgo County Elections Department Wednesday.

Narciso (Chicho) Solis received 4,077; Jesus “Chuy” Avendaño received 6,997.

Isaac V. Sulemana received 3,785, while Espie Ochoa received 7,366 votes.

Irene Garcia received 4,644 votes and Oscar “Coach Salinas” received 6,837 votes.

Arnoldo Ochoa received 4,663 votes; Joel Garcia received 6,864 votes.

A school board meeting will be held next week to canvas the votes and restructure the new LJISD school board.

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