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District 5 candidate asks Kayser to retract claim of endorsement

LA School Report | May 1, 2015

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Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas, who finished third behind Ref Rodriguez and Bennett Kayser in the District 5 school board primary election, has complained to Kayser that an invitation to a Kayser fundraiser this afternoon incorrectly says Thomas is supporting him in the May 19 runoff.

An email from Kayser’s campaign circulated yesterday describes Kayser as “The choice of students and community leader Andrew Thomas for LAUSD School Board, District 5.”

Wrong, said Thomas, calling the assertion “a breach of good will.”

“Unfortunately, your choice to send this announcement, which uses my name without my permission and suggests that I endorse you, puts me in a difficult position,” he wrote to Kayser and his board chief of staff, Sarah Bradshaw. “I now need to re-assure my supporters and Ref Rodriguez that I, in fact, am not supporting you. Of course, I’ll do that right away.”

Thomas stated his neutrality in the runoff shortly after the primary, in which he won 26 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Rodriguez and 35 percent for Kayser.

In his email, he said, “I continue to argue that the interests of the students and parents need to have direct representation on the school board. I have also said I wouldn’t do anything to oppose your efforts to win re-election and, by the same token, I extended the same courtesy to your opponent.”

As his chief of staff, Bradshaw has nothing to do with campaign efforts. Kayser’s campaign manager, Susan Burnside, said in an email to LA School Report today, “It is clearly a fundraising invitation and no way implies endorsement.  Bennett has spoken to Andrew many times and he and the campaign are clear that Andrew is staying neutral in the race.”

Thomas asked that a subsequent invitation be circulated to the same people who received the first, indicating that he “is not endorsing, supporting, or choosing Bennett Kayser.”

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