Bob Chilmonik didn't want to throw in the towel as the precincts reported and opponent Jeanne Dozier maintained a slim lead.
It soon became apparent that he had run out of time and districts.
In one of the more hotly contested battles in the area, the three-time incumbent Dozier eked out a 4 percentage point victory over the former two-time school board member Chilmonik for the District 2 school board seat.
With 88 percent of the vote in, Dozier had 60,160 votes to 55,806 for Chilmonik. With voters still casting ballots hours after the close of the polls,
Chilmonik would not comment on the race at first, saying it was too early and the race still too close to call for him to concede.
But it was soon apparent that winning was not going to happen
"I wish Dozier and her school district all the best. I hope the board will come together and do what's best for the students," Chilmonik said.
Several calls to Dozier were not returned.
Chilmonik and Dozier finished in the top two in the August primary, setting up the runoff on Tuesday.
The race was heated, with Dozier questioning Chilmonik's desire to be on the school board, criticizing his unsuccessful run for Lee County Commissioner two years ago while running on her accomplishments.
Chilmonik took more of a high-road approach as he criticized the $54 million being spent on bussing rather than on schools.
Numbers were still pending from Lee County at press time. All results are unofficial until certified.