Long Beach Unified School District elections (2014)

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2014 Long Beach Unified School District Elections

General Election date:
April 8, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
California
Long Beach Unified School District
Los Angeles County, California ballot measures
Local ballot measures, California
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Three seats on the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education were up for general election on April 8, 2014. The election was initially scheduled for June 3, 2014, but it was moved up to the primary election date due to the low number of candidates who filed.[1] Megan Kerr defeated fellow newcomer Uduak-Joe Ntuk to win the District 1 seat vacated by retiring incumbent Mary Stanton. Board President John McGinnis fended off challenger Juan Benitez to retain his District 3 seat while District 5 incumbent Diana F. Craighead ran unopposed for re-election.[2]

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.[3] Long Beach Unified School District is the third-largest school district in California, serving 83,691 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[4]

Demographics

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.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2012[3]
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[5]
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 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[6]

Method of board member selection

The Long Beach Board of Education consists of five members elected to four-year terms by specific geographic districts. There was no primary election and the general election was held on April 8, 2014. Three seats were up for election in 2014 and two seats will be up for election in 2016.[7]

The filing deadline for school board candidates to get on the ballot in the general election was January 10, 2014 and the deadline to file as a write-in candidate was March 25, 2014. If no candidate received a majority of the votes cast in the April 8 election, a run-off election would have been held on June 3, 2014.[8]

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

  • Uduak-Joe Ntuk
    • Graduate, Long Beach City College, California State University at Long Beach and University of Southern California
    • Petroleum engineer, Long Beach city government
  • Megan Kerr Green check mark transparent.png
    • Graduate, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
    • Community activist

  • John McGinnis Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent Board President
    • Graduate, University of Southern California and Loyola University
    • Retired educator
  • Juan Benitez
    • Graduate, University of California at Los Angeles
    • Associate professor of history, California State University at Long Beach

Election results

Long Beach Unified School District, District 1 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMegan Kerr 50.7% 3,912
     Nonpartisan Uduak-Joe Ntuk 49.3% 3,804
Total Votes 7,716
Source: Long Beach, California, "Long Beach Primary Nominating Election," accessed June 17, 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


District 5 incumbent Diana F. Craighead ran unopposed and retained her seat by default without an election.[9]

Endorsements

District 1

Uduak-Joe Ntuk received endorsements from the Democratic Party in Long Beach, Los Angeles County and the California state party. He also received endorsements from Progressive Majority, PowerPAC+ and The Press-Telegram in Long Beach. Multiple labor organizations endorsed him, including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and local affiliates from the American Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, Teamsters, International Association of Machinists, Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Long Beach board member Felton Williams and a variety of elected officials from across Long Beach endorsed Ntuk, as well.[10]

Megan Kerr received endorsements from the Teachers Association of Long Beach and the National Women's Political Caucus along with several other local political and labor organizations, including the Long Beach Young Democrats, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Firefighter Association and Police Officers Association. Departing District 1 board member Mary Stanton and fellow board members John McGinnis, Diana F. Craighead and Jon Meyer also endorsed Kerr.[11]

District 3

Board President John 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.[12]

Juan Benitez received endorsements from the Teachers Association of Long Beach, Long Beach Democratic Club, Los Angeles County Democrats and several other local political and labor organizations, including the Long Beach Firefighter Association, Police Officers Association and California School Employees Association. Long Beach Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal and State Senator Ricardo Lara endorsed Benitez, as well.[13]

Campaign finance

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.[14]

On March 28, 2014, Gazettes published an article that included a limited amount of campaign finance data for the Long Beach election. According to that article, District 1 candidates Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr raised approximately $65,000 and $30,000 in contributions, respectively. District 3 candidate Juan Benitez raised approximately $50,000 for his campaign against incumbent John McGinnis, who self-funded his campaign using the stipend he earned by attending board meetings. District 5 incumbent Diana F. Craighead was not reported as raising any funds for her re-election campaign.[15]

Past elections

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.[17]

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."[18]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Long Beach Unified School District election in 2014:[8]

Deadline Event
December 16, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions
January 10, 2014 Last day to file nominating petitions
January 16, 2014 Drawing of names for candidate positions on the ballot
February 10, 2014 First day to declare as a write-in candidate
February 27, 2014 Last day to file first campaign finance report
March 25, 2014 Last day to declare as a write-in candidate
March 27, 2014 Last day to file second campaign finance report
April 8, 2014 Election day
June 3, 2014 Run-off election (if necessary)
July 14, 2014 New member terms begin
July 31, 2014 Last day to file final campaign finance report

Additional elections on the ballot

This election shared the ballot with the Long Beach mayoral and municipal primary elections and the Long Beach Community College District Governing Board election.[19] Proposition A, a local ballot measure to establish a sales tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana, also appeared on the ballot and was approved.[20]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Harry Saltzgaver, Gazettes, "SO MOVED: More Debate On Managers' Pay Raises," October 31, 2013
  2. Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Final List of Qualified Candidates," accessed March 31, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "Los Angeles County, California," accessed March 31, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 22, 2014
  5. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, "Report of Registration as of December 31, 2013 - Registration by County," accessed March 31, 2014
  6. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  7. Long Beach Unified School District, "LBUSD Board of Education," accessed March 31, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Candidate Handbook and Resource Guide," accessed March 31, 2014
  9. Long Beach, California, "Long Beach Primary Nominating Election," accessed June 17, 2014
  10. Uduak-Joe Ntuk - 2014 Long Beach School Board, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  11. Megan Kerr, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  12. Re-Elect John McGinnis for Long Beach Unified School Board, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  13. Juan Benitez, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  14. Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Campaign Finance Reports," accessed March 31, 2014
  15. Ashleigh Ruhl, Gazettes, "Election 2014: School Board Candidates Bring New Faces To LBUSD," March 28, 2014
  16. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, "School Contests for Los Angeles County, CA - April 13, 2010 Election," accessed March 31, 2014
  17. Megan Kerr, "Truth," accessed March 31, 2014
  18. Nadra Nittle, The Press-Telegram, "Long Beach Unified school board race growing increasingly contentious," March 24, 2014
  19. Long Beach, California, "City of Long Beach Primary Nomination Election, Qualified Candidates for April 8, 2014 - Ballot Order by Office," accessed March 31, 2014
  20. Eric Bradley, The Press-Telegram, "Long Beach voters to choose new city, school leaders," April 5, 2014