Jeff Rosenberg was patiently listening by the radio when called by Hampton Chronicle reporter Jeff Forward and informed of his landslide win over incumbent Jennifer Hansen in the Hampton-Dumont Community School District Board of Directors election Tuesday night.
"Oh wow, I didn't know," Rosenberg said. "That's wonderful. That's fantastic."
Rosenberg defeated Hansen by a margin of 410 votes to 67, a monumental win over the incumbent. The results are unofficial, but according to Franklin County Auditor Michelle Giddings, 100 percent of the votes have been tallied and only await the OK from the Franklin County Board of Supervisors on Friday when they canvas the vote.
"The numbers are in and I'm going home," Giddings said.
The large margin of victory surprised Rosenberg.
"I had no idea it was such a large margin. I didn't think it'd be that much," he said. "I ran just to make a difference. It worked."
Rosenberg was with family when informed of the news and said he is excited to begin his term, which will end in 2017. Several of the issues Rosenberg focused on in his campaign were increased access to foreign languages, a renewed focus on skill and trade training for students not going to college, and offering more after-school activities for all grade levels in the district.
"I'd like to see foreign languages started earlier than high school," Rosenberg said. "I'd also like to see more activities after school like science club. Things to get more kids active in academic activities."
One other area he said is important is offering training for students that are looking for other careers outside the normal college spectrum - including agricultural, mechanical engineering, and trades such as plumbing and utilities work.
"Just to have more activities for kids who aren't necessarily going to college," he added. "It gives them a leap forward."
The election pitted a newcomer to the world of school board politics against a veteran in Hansen. The polls in Dumont only saw 29 voters cast ballots, but in Hampton there were 444 ballots cast - many by teachers from the school district who flooded the polling place inside the Law Enforcement Center when school let out in the afternoon.
Rosenberg is a native of Maquoketa, Iowa, who lives in Hampton with his wife, Megan, and their two children - both of whom are students in the district.