Heather Repenning’s campaign claimed victory on Friday after a final round of vote tallies in the LAUSD school board primary election cemented her lead by a fractional margin over Graciela Ortiz, meaning she will likely face Jackie Goldberg in a May 14 runoff for the seat.
The County Registrar’s office said there are no outstanding votes left to be counted from the March 5 primary, although the election results have yet to be certified.
Earning 13.13 percent of the vote, Repenning’s edge over Ortiz stood at a mere 31 votes. Goldberg, who led the pack of ten candidates since election day returns when she almost snagged a majority at 48.26 percent, had already secured a spot in the runoff.
The outcome of the runoff could prove pivotal to a school board that has been divided on how to address the expansion of charter schools and the district’s lower-performing campuses.
Since the primary earlier this month, Repenning and Ortiz have been vying for the runner-up spot in a close back and forth. The gap between the two candidates hasn’t exceeded 55 votes at any point since the March 5 primary, a sign of a possible recount.
In Tuesday’s second round of updates, Repenning landed just ahead of Graciela Ortiz at 13.13 percent over 13.02 percent, after she leapfrogged Ortiz’s similarly narrow lead in the first round.
A recount may be requested starting March 23 and would cost an estimated $5,000 a day, according to the L.A. County Registrar. Ortiz’s campaign did not respond to request for comment on a possible recount request at the time of publication.
Repenning is a longtime senior aide to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti who resigned from her position as a public works commissioner to run for office. Ortiz is a school counselor as well as an elected City Council member in Huntington Park.
Goldberg, who is backed by the teachers union, has previously served on the L.A. City Council and in the state Legislature. She also sat on the school board as a member more than 20 years ago.
LAUSD Board District 5 seat was left vacant last July after former board member Ref Rodríguez resigned, pleading guilty to campaign money laundering charges. The board district encompasses students enrolled in 177 district schools in clusters of neighborhoods north of downtown and east of downtown.
Source:: Dailynews – News