Babur Lateef, interim chair for Prince William County School Board, won the special election Tuesday to fill the final year remaining of the current term. But he doesn’t have time to rest after his first election win — a new race begins Wednesday.
In unofficial results, Lateef won 59,952 votes, or 47.9 percent of the vote. Alyson Satterwhite, the Gainesville representative on the school board, had 53,026 votes.
Stanley Bender, a retired Woodbridge resident, received just under 10 percent of the total votes cast. Results still have to be certified.
Lateef told a group of supporters in Dale City on Election Night that "tomorrow we start the re-election campaign, because we have an election in a year."
Lateef will finish the term that ends in late 2019 after former chair Ryan Sawyers resigned in March. The school board appointed Lateef as interim chair in April, and will hold a new election for the next four-year term in November 2019.
Lateef said he is humbled and grateful for the support of voters, volunteers and all the work of the election workers. He said he is proud of his campaign's positive message.
As chair, he wants to focus on improving student success, making sure kids are safe, increasing teacher and staff pay, reducing class sizes, increasing the amount of school counselors, improve career and technical education programs and continue to look at the audit of the school division's special education program.
"Those are all priorities we are going to continue and I want to be able to do it with people in the fashion that we all work together," Lateef said. "I think voters in the county validated what I've been able to do over the last six months [as interim chair] and voted that they share the values that I campaigned on."
Reducing class sizes includes reducing trailers in the school division, he said, adding he plans to also work with the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to increase the amount of local funding for the school division.
"I believe we can work together with them to achieve some of the goals, because these are not my goals, these are the goals of the community," Lateef said. "They wouldn't have voted for me if they were just mine."