Deanna Verdon defeats Jake Speed in recall election - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Deanna Verdon defeats Jake Speed in recall election

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Onalaska, WI (WXOW) - -

Former Onalaska School Board member Deanna Verdon defeated incumbent Jake Speed in Tuesday's recall election. 

According to the Onalaska School District, Verdon defeated Speed 1,408 votes to 95.

Verdon previously served on the board from 2014 until April of 2017. She said she was approached by the organizers of the recall petition about another potential run.

"So when they approached me I said yes I'll be more than happy to run because we need somebody who's first priority is the children," she said.

The recall petition, which circulated the city earlier this fall, collected far more signatures than required by state statute to force a recall election.

MORE: Petition Ruled Sufficient 

Mark Cassellius, who organized the petition, said the high number of signatures speaks volumes about the community.

"I think that points to the fact that people are paying attention and concerned about what's going on in their community including schools," he said.

Jake Speed spoke exclusively to News 19 in August, responding to allegations from the district that he had harassed employees and was making false claims against the district.

MORE: Jake Speed Breaks His Silence

"As far as me being able to do anything to really help the district to look good to the voter, that really hasn't been allowed to happen," he said. "There's no way that those people are going to let me do anything that lets me look good."

Verdon works as a behavioral support teacher within the Holmen School District. She said her main priority once sworn in will be focusing on mental health resources available within the district.

"It's a really touchy subject in how to get money into the schools to help with the students," she said. "I think that might be my number one concern."

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