LAND O’ LAKES — Kenny Blankenship, a vice president of United School Employees of Pasco, has been elected the union’s new president and will begin his three-year term June 1, the union announced.
Blankenship defeated Land O’ Lakes High teacher Pat Connolly, taking 54.7 percent of the vote to Connolly’s 45.3 percent.
In addition, Gay Kennedy was elected school-related personnel vice president, defeating Bill Hull. The teacher vice president, Lee Kulikauskas, and secretary-treasurer, Cheryl Vinson, were elected by acclamation because they did not face opposition. Executive board members also were elected by acclamation.
The current president, Lynne Webb, did not seek re-election.
Voting began Feb. 27 by mail, and the ballots were counted Thursday night by the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office.
“I am dedicated and deeply committed to work on behalf of all employees to defend and improve contractual rights, ensure dignity and respect, and strengthen the USEP membership and organizational unity for both units,” Blankenship said in a prepared statement.
“In order to be successful, we will need USEP members to continue their active role and potential members to join us and be actively engaged in the cause of improving our working conditions, which are our students’ learning conditions. We must unite to accomplish the goals and desires that we all deem important.”