Frazier O'Leary
**FILE** Cardozo High School English teacher Frazier O'Leary and his students discuss the characters in Toni Morrison's new novel, "A Mercy." (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Frazier O’Leary, a longtime educator who taught mainly at Cardozo Senior High School, surprised many in the District of Columbia political establishment by winning the Ward 4 D.C. State Board of Education special election race on Tuesday.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, O’Leary had 47 percent of the vote to Rhonda Henderson’s 36 percent. Elani Lawrence and Ryan Tauriainen, the other candidates, had about 11 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Henderson had the backing of D.C. Council member Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) and Democrats for Education Reform and had raised the most money of all the candidates. However, O’Leary had the strong backing of the Washington Teachers’ Union, which canvassed for him and helped in fundraising.

Only approximately 8 percent of Ward 4 registered voters voted in the election.

O’Leary will replace Lannette Woodruff, who resigned from the board because her husband got a job in another city.

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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