In a race between two strikingly similar candidates, Seth Taylor has a 57% to 42% lead over Brian Silbernagel for the Position 5 seat on the Culver School Board after early returns in Tuesday’s special district election.

Taylor, 39, who works as a habitat technician for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, is an active member in the Culver community.

He volunteers with Jefferson County Little League, National FFA Organization and 4-H clubs.

He was motivated to run for the school board to keep “checks and balances in place” between teachers and the school board, as well as keeping a sharp eye on the school budget.

Silbernagel, 39, who works as a trucking coordinator for Bright Wood Corporation, is a familiar face in the small Jefferson County community as a coach for Culver High School’s football team since 2004.

Silbernagel said he wanted to get more involved with the school district’s finances after working for its athletic department for many years.

He said he would pay close attention to the condition of the school district’s facilities and help build a new locker room and bathroom for the district’s outdoor athletic complex.

Taylor and Silbernagel were running to replace, Zoe ­Schumacher, who has served on the board since 2003.

— Reporter: 541-617-7820,