Lateef wins in school board chairman's race marred by accusations of dirty tricks

Prince William Times | 11/7/2018 | Staff
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Babur Lateef is the apparent winner of Tuesday’s special election for chairman of Prince William County School Board, garnering 48 percent of the unofficial vote to Alyson Satterwhite’s 41.9 percent.

The win means Lateef, who ran with the support of Prince William County’s Democratic Committee, will hold onto the top spot on the eight-member board, while Satterwhite, who was endorsed by the local Republican committee, will remain the Gainesville representative on the board, a position she has held since 2012.

Lateef - Interim - Chairman - Year - School

Lateef was first appointed interim chairman earlier this year after former school board chairman Ryan Sawyers resigned the post following a tumultuous 14-month tenure.

With nearly 99 percent of the vote counted Tuesday night, Lateef garnered 61,520 votes, while Satterwhite won 53,446 votes and Stanley Bender, an independent, won 12,331 votes.

Race - Controversy - Prince - William - County

But the race was not without controversy. Prince William County Republicans were crying foul early Tuesday morning when mysterious red signs announcing “Republicans for Stanley Bender” appeared outside several county polling places.

The problem? It was Satterwhite, not Bender, who had the local GOP committee’s support. Some quick detective work on the part of GOP committee chairman Bill Card revealed that the signs were the work of an 11th-hour political action committee, “Republicans for Stanley Bender,” launched Oct. 24 by Lake Ridge resident Harry Wiggins.

Wiggins - Chairman - Prince - William - County

Wiggins is the former chairman of the Prince William County Democratic committee. Card said the GOP immediately recognized the signs as an attempt to confuse voters about who had the support of local Republicans.

Card called the move a “vicious, evil thing to do.”

Harry - Wiggins - Democrats - Voter - Fraud

“At the very minimum, Harry Wiggins and the Democrats have committed voter fraud and voter suppression,” Card said. “I think there should be legal recourse.”

Wiggins could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His name appeared as an organizer on the “statement of organization”...
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