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 are 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] Two newcomers, Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr, filed to run for the District 1 seat vacated by retiring incumbent Mary Stanton. Board President John McGinnis is running against challenger Juan Benitez to retain his District 3 seat while District 5 incumbent Diana F. Craighead is running 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 84,606 students during the 2010-2011 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% of Los Angeles County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 30.5% 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% compared to 15.3% 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

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 is no primary election and the general election will be held on April 8, 2014. Three seats are up for election in 2014 and two seats will be up for election in 2016.[6]

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 receives a majority of the votes cast in the April 8 election, a run-off election will be held on June 3, 2014.[7]

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
    • Graduate, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
    • Community activist

  • John McGinnis
    • 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

Endorsements

District 1

Uduak-Joe Ntuk has 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 have 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 have endorsed Ntuk, as well.[8]

Megan Kerr has 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.[9]

District 3

Board President John McGinnis has 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 have endorsed McGinnis, too. United States Representative Alan Lowenthal and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster also endorsed him.[10]

Juan Benitez has 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.[11]

Campaign finance

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk does not publish or freely disclose school board candidate campaign finance reports.[12] 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 each, 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.[13]

Past elections

What's at stake?

Three seats on the school board are up for election on April 8, 2014. Newcomers Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr are competing for the vacant District 1 seat while incumbent Diana F. Craighead is running unopposed to keep her District 5 seat. Board President John McGinnis is fending 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 have made statements claiming that the other is dishonest. Ntuk has 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.[15]

Ntuk is also facing 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."[16]

Key deadlines

The following dates are key deadlines for the Long Beach Unified School District election in 2014:[7]

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 shares the ballot with the Long Beach mayoral and municipal primary elections and the Long Beach Community College District Governing Board election.[17] Proposition A, a local ballot measure meant to establish a sales tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana, will also appear on the ballot.[18]

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 February 18, 2014
  5. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, "Report of Registration as of December 31, 2013 - Registration by County," accessed March 31, 2014
  6. Long Beach Unified School District, "LBUSD Board of Education," accessed March 31, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Candidate Handbook and Resource Guide," accessed March 31, 2014
  8. Uduak-Joe Ntuk - 2014 Long Beach School Board, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  9. Megan Kerr, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  10. Re-Elect John McGinnis for Long Beach Unified School Board, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  11. Juan Benitez, "Endorsements," accessed March 31, 2014
  12. Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Campaign Finance Reports," accessed March 31, 2014
  13. Ashleigh Ruhl, Gazettes, "Election 2014: School Board Candidates Bring New Faces To LBUSD," March 28, 2014
  14. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, "School Contests for Los Angeles County, CA - April 13, 2010 Election," accessed March 31, 2014
  15. Megan Kerr, "Truth," accessed March 31, 2014
  16. Nadra Nittle, The Press-Telegram, "Long Beach Unified school board race growing increasingly contentious," March 24, 2014
  17. Long Beach, California, "City of Long Beach Primary Nomination Election, Qualified Candidates for April 8, 2014 - Ballot Order by Office," accessed March 31, 2014
  18. Eric Bradley, The Press-Telegram, "Long Beach voters to choose new city, school leaders," April 5, 2014