Update: Fourth-place-finisher Stella Young tells the Insider News she wants the School Board seat.
Original: Kim Plache lost the election she was trying to win and won the election she wasn't trying in at all.
The former state senator finished third in the Racine mayoral race behind John Dickert and Bob Turner, leaving her out of the May 5 special election to elect the city's new mayor.
But Plache also finished third Tuesday in the race for Racine Unified School Board. That was good enough to earn her a three-year term on the board along with incumbents Don Nielsen and Gretchen Warner.
Plache said Tuesday she'd accept the School Board seat.
"I'm honored to have been chosen and I will serve," she said.
It's something of a change of heart for Plache, who had declared her candidacy for School Board in January only to switch her focus in February to the mayor's race after Gary Becker was arrested and resigned.
Plache said when she launched her mayoral campaign that she tried to take her name off the School Board ballot, but couldn't.
"If I didn't have to die to get my name off the ballot, I'd take it off," Plache said on Feb. 18. "I'm completely focused on running for mayor."
But now that the votes have shaken out, Plache said she would accept her elected seat on the School Board. She replaces former School Board President Tony Baumgardt, who did not run for re-election.
Stephanie Hayden, director of communications for Unified, said Plache is entitled to the seat. Once she put her name on the ballot, Hayden said, it became the voters' choice.
"If she wants the seat, it's hers," Hayden said.
Plache received 7,747 votes for School Board and outpaced fourth-place finisher Stella Young by about 700 votes.
Plache said Wednesday she's always been committed to public service and supporting public education. Her daughter is a sixth-grader in Racine Unified, which Plache said gives her extra motivation to join the board.
She described the support she received for School Board as "heart warming," if unexpected.
Plache did not campaign for the School Board and publicly declared she was only running for mayor. But Unified voters jumped at her name recognition and experience as a state senator and representative and elected her anyway.