John McGinnis (California)

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John McGinnis
John McGinnis (California).jpg
Board member, Long Beach Board of Education, District 3
Term ends
Years in position 4
Board President
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 8, 2014
First electedApril 13, 2010
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sLoyola University
Master'sUniversity of Southern California and Loyola University
ProfessionRetired educator
Office website
Campaign website
John McGinnis is the District 3 member and president of the Long Beach school board in California. He was first elected to the board on April 13, 2010 and won re-election on April 8, 2014.


John McGinnis is a resident of Long Beach, California. McGinnis earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Loyola University and his M.S. degree in Library Science from the University of Southern California.[1] He spent his career as an educator and school librarian with a variety of educational institutions. McGinnis also served as the Dean of the Library and Learning Resource Center at Cerritos College. Before he retired, he served as the president of the California School Library Association and on the boards of the California Reading and Literature Project and the Education Council on Technology in Learning.[2]



See also: Long Beach Unified School District elections (2014)


John McGinnis defeated challenger Juan Benitez to keep the District 3 seat in the general election on April 8, 2014.


Long Beach Unified School District, District 3 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn McGinnis Incumbent 51% 2,642
     Nonpartisan Juan Benitez 49% 2,534
Total Votes 5,176
Source: Long Beach, California, "Long Beach Primary Nominating Election," accessed June 17, 2014


The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk does not publish and freely disclose school board candidate campaign finance reports. Ballotpedia staffers directly requested this information, but the municipal office refused those requests to make that information public.[3] On March 28, 2014, Gazettes published an article that included a limited amount of campaign finance data for the Long Beach election. District 3 candidate Juan Benitez raised approximately $50,000 for his campaign against McGinnis, who self-funded his campaign using the stipend he earned by attending board meetings.[2]


McGinnis received endorsements from the Long Beach Register, The Press-Telegram and the Association of Long Beach Educational Managers. Long Beach Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and board members Diana F. Craighead, Jon Meyer and Felton Williams endorsed McGinnis, too. United States Representative Alan Lowenthal and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster also endorsed him.[4]


McGinnis ran unopposed and won the District 3 seat on April 13, 2010.[5]

Campaign themes


McGinnis published a list of his campaign priorities in his official candidate statement:[6]

I will bring my forty years experience as a school board president, teacher, administrator and parent to the tasks ahead — rebuilding music, art and early childhood education programs, reducing class sizes and restoring librarians, counselors and nurses. I’ll reinvest my knowledge, acquired over my career and in my first term, to create a better future for our school children.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Three seats on the school board were up for election on April 8, 2014. Newcomers Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr competed for the vacant District 1 seat while incumbent Diana F. Craighead ran unopposed to keep her District 5 seat. Board President John McGinnis fended off a challenge from Juan Benitez to keep his District 3 seat.

Issues in the election

Accusations of dishonesty

In the month prior to the District 1 election, both Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr made statements claiming that the other was dishonest. Ntuk criticized Kerr's campaign for falsely claiming that she holds a Master's degree. On an online profile created by the League of Women Voters, Kerr was attributed with an M.A. degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Kerr campaign representative Katy Stanton also claimed during an interview with The Press-Telegram that Kerr holds a Master's degree from California State University at Long Beach, which Kerr later denied. On her campaign website, Kerr clarified that she has studied for a graduate degree at Pacific Oaks College but that she has not completed all of the necessary requirements to receive one.[7]

Ntuk also faced allegations of dishonesty from the Kerr campaign regarding endorsements. Ntuk's campaign used his website and thousands of robocalls to publicize an endorsement from AFT Local 1521, which is a local affiliate of the national American Federation of Teachers union. The Teachers Association of Long Beach, which endorsed Kerr and is affiliated with the National Education Association, denounced Ntuk's statements as an attempt to mislead voters into believing that the national union had endorsed him. Campaign spokesman Roy Behr defended Ntuk by arguing, "It was very clear that he had been endorsed by AFT Local 1521."[8]

About the district

See also: Long Beach Unified School District, California
Long Beach Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California
Long Beach Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California. The county seat of Los Angeles County is Los Angeles. Los Angeles County is home to 10,017,068 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[9] Long Beach Unified School District is the third-largest school district in California, serving 83,691 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[10]


Los Angeles County underperformed in comparison to the rest of California in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Los Angeles County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 30.5 percent for California as a whole. The median household income in Los Angeles County was $56,241 compared to $61,400 for the state of California. The poverty rate in Los Angeles County was 17.1 percent compared to 15.3 percent for the entire state.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Los Angeles County (%) California (%)
White 71.6 73.7
Black or African American 9.3 6.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.5 1.7
Asian 14.5 13.9
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.5
Two or More Races 2.8 3.6
Hispanic or Latino 48.2 38.2

2013 Party Affiliation, Los Angeles County[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 2,450,612 50.77
Republican 1,021,666 21.16
American Independent 108,709 2.25
Peace and Freedom 34,940 0.72
Libertarian 26,221 0.54
Green 24,465 0.51
Americans Elect 2,466 0.05
Other 316,634 6.56
Unaffiliated 841,559 17.43

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[12]

Recent news

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