GOP takes 3 of 4 Ala SBOE seats

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Republicans won three of the four Alabama state school board seats on Tuesday's ballot to maintain control of a panel that has targeted legislators who work in the two-year college system.

The winners were incumbent Republican Betty Peters of Dothan over Democrat Betty Letlow of Opelika for Place 2; Democrat Yvette Richardson of Fairfield over Republican Tom Dooley of Vestavia Hills for the Place 4 seat vacated by Democrat Ethel Hall; Republican Charles Elliot of Decatur over Democrat Kimberly Harbison Drake of Cullman for the Place 6 seat vacated by Republican David Byers; and Republican Mary Scott Hunter of Huntsville over Democrat Mary Ruth Yates of Huntsville for the Place 8 seat vacated by Democrat Mary Jane Caylor.

The governor serves as president of the board, giving it nine voting members. With Tuesday's election, Republicans will hold a 6-2 majority of the elected seats, plus Republican Gov.-elect Robert Bentley.

The board oversees K-12 operations as well as the two-year college system, which was hit with a corruption scandal under former Chancellor Roy Johnson.

Three Democratic legislators with connections to the system were convicted in the corruption probe, prompting the board to pass a policy barring those working for the system from serving in the legislature.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)