"We all liked him and are now voting for her," said Wu Fang, a 53-year-old villager lingering on the school ground after voting. "She told us at meetings that she would follow her father's footstep to help us and look after our welfare."
As Wu and her fellow villagers exercised their hard-fought democratic right, some analysts have wondered whether the "Wukan effect" could bring wider political freedoms.
China watchers estimate the country saw some 180,000 "mass incidents" in 2010, most of which occurred in rural areas and were related to land confiscations. While the Chinese central government has permitted direct village elections since the 1980s, critics say the Wukan election is nothing more than symbolism and that the Communist Party still keeps a tight grip on dissent nationwide, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Back at Wukan School, Wu Fang echoed other local villagers when she said a "fairer" election wouldn't solve the core issue that triggered the original protest: the sale of almost 1,000 acres of land by local officials to developers without any compensation to farmers.
"How can we farmers live without our land?" she said. "We want our farmland back and there hasn't been much progress. Without news coverage, our struggle would have died a long time ago."
With two prominent protest leaders declared the winners for the top two positions on Saturday night, it remains to be seen whether there will be any real change in rural China.
"A democratic election produces capable village officials who will help villagers get back their seized land and stolen assets -- so it's a necessary step in the process," Yang Semao, who was elected deputy village chief, told CNN before casting his ballot.
Xue failed to get enough votes for an outright victory, but is eligible to compete in a runoff Sunday. Worried that she may meet her father's fate, some family members had vehemently opposed her political career from the outset.
As her decision to quit the race spread online, reaction among her 25,000 Weibo followers appeared mostly encouraging.
"It doesn't matter whether or not you get elected," one supporter wrote. "Your family has already paid the ultimate price for Wukan."
"Don't blame your grandmother -- she's been through too much," another one chimed in. "You're still young and there will be time for another run."