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Breaking News: McKenna wins election to LAUSD board

LA School Report | August 12, 2014

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George McKenna LAUSD

George McKenna

George McKenna, a lifelong educator as a teacher, principal, superintendent and administrator, won the runoff election tonight, defeating Alex Johnson to claim the District 1 seat on the LA Unified school board.

As the leading vote-getter in the June primary, McKenna, 74, campaigned on his decades of service and with all 324 precincts and mail-in ballots counted, he won with 53.18 percent of the vote to 46.81 for Johnson, 34, an aide to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

McKenna’s margin of victory over Johnson in the seven-candidate primary was 44 percent to 24 percent.

Just 8 percent of the district’s 342,493 voters cast ballots, compared with 13 percent for the primary.

McKenna declared victory shortly after 11:30, saying, “I feel so privileged to have earned the trust and confidence of District 1 voters to be their school board representative.”

He added, “Our task is not easy, but I welcome the challenge. I have never accepted an easy assignment in my career, yet I have always improved the educational outcomes of children. I will draw on the best of my experience, assemble an able team of advisors, and work in partnership with parents, teachers and the community to pursue excellence in our schools.

“Let’s get to work.”

The victory ends a two-month campaign in which the candidates combined to spend $236,000 and outside groups spent another $956,000 on their behalf, the vast majority of it, $767,000, for Johnson.

Once the votes are certified and McKenna is sworn in, probably later this week, he will begin serving out the term of the late Marguerite LaMotte, which runs through June of next year. At that point, he will have the option to seek reelection for a full two-year term.


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