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‘Apprentice’ contestant Omarosa bidding for LAUSD board seat

LA School Report | February 18, 2014

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omarosa manigaultBringing unusual visibility to the upcoming LA Unified school board special election, Omarosa Manigault, a TV personality best known for contentious her role on The Apprentice, has told LA School Report she is entering the race.

She filed papers with the City Clerk on Friday to run for the vacant seat in District 1. The winner will serve out the remaining months of the four-year term of Marguerite LaMotte, the longtime school board member who died in office late last year. The primary will take place on June 3.

“I’m a tough, no nonsense, take-no-prisoners woman,” she told LA School Report. “People know me, and that I’m not afraid to advocate for our district,” in the spirit of LaMotte, she said, whom she considered a friend. “They want someone who can go in the board room and get something done.”  A controversial figure during her stint on the reality show, The Apprentice, “Omarosa” was sometimes called the ‘villain’ of the show.

A teacher at Howard University, an ordained pastor, and more recently, a special education substitute teacher in LA Unified, Manigault says she was urged to seek office by concerned parents, community leaders, friends and family. “My agenda is children, to make sure they have opportunities they deserve.” She says she has traveled the world but her work in her church has been eye-opening. “I have seen the result of when the system doesn’t work,” she said. “I want to go to graduations not funerals.”

One of ten candidates who has filed papers with the City Clerk so far, Manigault says she received an “overwhelming response” from the community this weekend, with 65 volunteers offering to circulate the necessary signature petitions due next month.

Among the current list of candidates, there is one notable absence – that of Alex Johnson. As a top aide to County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Johnson is positioned as a strong contender and has been meeting privately with fund rasiers and civic leaders in Los Angeles for weeks. He is expected to announce his candidacy by 5 p.m. today, in time to make the City Clerk candidate filing deadline.

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