Rivas leads Brenes in LA school board race; Gonez stays ahead of his race

Rocio Rivas edged out Maria Brenes in a key Los Angeles Board of Education competition to represent Downtown, surrounding neighborhoods and the Eastside, according to the county’s latest vote count.

The votes are still being counted, but in an updated tally released on Friday, Rivas edged Brenes, who held the lead since polls closed on Tuesday, by 47 votes.

In the second balloting board race, for a seat representing the eastern San Fernando Valley, school board president Kelly Gonez extended her advantage over challenger Marvin Rodriguez to 1,578 votes, but the race remains tight. Gonez has 51.27% of the votes counted; Rodriguez 48.73%. Rodriguez, a high school Spanish teacher with virtually no campaign money and no majors, had a surprisingly strong performance.

The contest between Brenes and Rivas was to be fiercely contested. Until Friday, the count of their race stood at 30,736 votes for Rivas, or 50.04%, with 30,689 votes for Brenes, or 49.96%.

Many votes remain to be counted and it is difficult to predict trends as many absentee and provisional ballots could still be in circulation. Ballots mailed as late as Election Day, Nov. 8, will be counted if they arrive by next Tuesday.

Based on June primary turnout, there could still be 10,000 to 15,000 votes left to count in each school district.

Campaign figures through Friday showed $9.5 million was invested in the Brenes-Rivas District 2 contest, with about twice as much spent — $3 million more — on behalf of Brenes, the leader of the Boyle Heights-based community group InnerCity Struggle.

Independent campaigns on his behalf have been funded by Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents guards, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teacher’s aides, as well as a political action committee. controlled by retired businessman Bill Bloomfield and Netflix founder Reed Hastings, a charter school. Support.

United Teachers Los Angeles has launched a major independent campaign on behalf of Rivas, a senior aide to school board member Jackie Goldberg. The labor leadership joined Rivas in calling for curbing the growth and influence of charter schools, which are privately run, mostly non-union and publicly funded, and compete with managed schools. by the district for students.

The winner of the Rivas-Brenes contest will replace longtime incumbent Monica Garcia, who was unable to run again due to term limits.

Los Angeles Times

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