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After runnerup finish in state race, Gutierrez taking on Vladovic

Michael Janofsky | September 3, 2014

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Lydia Gutierrez, former candidate last June for California Superintendent of Instruction

Lydia Gutierrez, former candidate for California Superintendent of Instruction

The LA Unified school board president, Richard Vladovic, is no longer running uncontested for his seat next year.

Lydia Gutierrez, who nearly advanced to the general election in the California Superintendent of Public Instruction race this year, has filed to oppose Vladovic in 2015, when elections are being held for four school board seats — Districts 1, 3 5 and Vladovic’s 7.

Also, Ankur Patel, a former candidate for LA City Controller, has become a third challenger to Tamar Galatzan in District 3, joining a field with Carl Petersen, Director of Logistics for a Glendale manufacturing company, and Elizabeth Badger, owner of an auto repair company in Canoga Park.

On her Facebook page, Gutierrez describes herself as “a long-time California educator and elected official on the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council.” In the June primary, she just missed moving onto the November general election, winning nearly 1 million votes — 24.5 percent of the total — to finish third behind Marshall Tuck (28.9 percent) and the incumbent, Tom Torlakson (46.5). Tuck and Torlakson are facing each other in the November general election.

Her decision to oppose Vladovic came through an analysis of where her votes came from.

Jose Gonzalez, one of her campaign managers, told LA School Report that she came within 1,000 votes from District 7 residents of the total Vladovic received in 2011.

Gonzalez said Gutierrez holds views different from Vladovic, asserting that the district “is facing serious problems and he’s not doing anything about it.” Specifically, he said, she believes Vladovic has “not taken an aggressive role” in issues involving the molestation of children and that he “blindly” favored adopting the Common Core State Standards for the district, without taking “cultural and linguistic differences of children into consideration.”

He also said Gutierrez would “vote to fire” Superintendent John Deasy over the problems with the iPad program and the student-tracking system known as MiSiS.

Vladovic’s campaign treasurer, David Gould, did not immediately respond to an email seeking a response to Gonzalez’s criticisms on behalf of Vladovic.

Ankur Patel

Ankur Patel, former candidate for LA City Controller

Patel, who finished fifth among six candidates for City Controller last year, has worked as a union organizer for the National Union of Health Care Workers, as a solar panel salesman and as a radio host.

He said he, too, does not support Deasy, and he expressed disagreement with Galatzan on several issues, including “scrutiny of the iPad program and her vote to remove a stronger critic of the iPad program, Stuart Magruder, from the district’s Bond Oversight Committee.

The other two school board incumbents facing voters next year — George McKenna in District 1 and Bennett Kayser in District 5 — also have opponents.

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