Wheeler got 24,145 votes (60%) to Bartlett’s 15,931 votes (40%). He will take his seat on the school board in January.
Post 7, which includes McEachern, Harrison and Hillgrove high schools, now covers west-central Cobb after district lines were redrawn last spring by state legislators.
There are 54,722 registered voters in this post, 73% of which turned out for the election.
Bartlett, who was first elected to the board in 2008, spent Tuesday night with her family and then attended the Cobb Democrats election night watch party at the DoubleTree Atlanta Marietta Hotel.
When contacted about the outcome, she kept it short and simple: “Congratulations to Mr. Wheeler.”
Bartlett has been outspoken at numerous public forums and at school board meetings leading up to the election about her opposition to the charter-school amendment.
She has said it was tougher campaigning in the newly drawn district because it’s dominantly Republican, and some people told her they wouldn’t vote for her simply because she is a Democrat.
“It’s a problem with this nation,” she said in October. “They don’t evaluate who they are voting for, just the party associated with it.”
First-time candidate Wheeler, who was still in shock just before midnight, said he was excited.
“I appreciate everybody that’s helped me,” he said. “We’ve had supporters come from all over the place, and I appreciate every single one of them and everything they’ve done.”
He spent election night with his wife, Cathy, and their neighbors at his subdivision’s clubhouse in west Cobb.
The July 31 GOP primary was a three-person race featuring Wheeler, Larry Darnell and Heather Ryan. Wheeler won the nomination after a runoff with Darnell.
He qualified to run for the school board seat in May and since then came in first in the July 31 Republican primary and beat long-time Cobb County resident Larry Darnell in a mid-August runoff.
Wheeler said he sought the office to help shift the school board’s focus.
“Our goal should be to provide the best education we can afford our children,” he said.
He also said he opposes Superintendent Michael Hinojosa’s request to hire Teach For America teachers and favors the balanced calendar.
“It makes no sense to offer positions to recent college graduates who have not been trained when we are cutting back our current staff,” Wheeler said about TFA. “We already have quality people in these positions. We need to support them and not slap them in the face.”
According to campaign finance reports, Bartlett raised more than $5,322 and Wheeler raised more than $9,574.
The District 7 seat was the only contested Cobb school board race on Tuesday’s ballot.
Three other school board seats were decided July 31, with those victors having no opposition Tuesday. They are incumbents David Banks of District 5 in northeast Cobb and David Morgan of District 3 in southwest Cobb; and Republican Randy Scamihorn, who will take the District 1 post of northwest Cobb. The incumbent there, Lynnda Eagle, did not seek re-election.