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Hudley-Hayes still has big-name support in LAUSD board race

Jamie Alter Lynton | April 25, 2014

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Genethia Hudley-Hayes

Genethia Hudley-Hayes

Despite her inability to substantiate a number of academic credentials and other claims on her resume, Genethia Hudley-Hayes still has the backing of  her major supporters in the race for the LA Unified District 1 board seat.

“Outsiders don’t get it,” said one longtime south Los Angeles activist who spoke to LA School Report on the condition of anonymity. “Our community closes rank when it feels attacked.”

Still in her camp is one of her biggest endorsers — U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, whose district overlaps with the open board seat, left vacant by the death of longtime board member Marguerite LaMotte.  Bass told LA School Report, “There has been a lot of carelessness and it’s extremely unfortunate. But I will continue to support her.”

District 1 stretches from Hancock Park south to Long Beach. The population is increasingly Hispanic, but for 40 years, voters have consistently elected a black woman to the school board.

Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who along with Bass announced his endorsement of Hudley Hayes in February, before discrepancies in her resume were confirmed, has apparently not changed his position. Messages left by LA School Report asking if he has withdrawn his endorsement were not returned.

The timing is important: with candidates busy preparing direct mail pieces timed to drop when vote-by-mail ballots arrive early next month, a high-profile face featured on campaign literature can make a big difference in swaying voters. The special election is scheduled for June 3.

Bass said Hudley-Hayes, who served as on the school board as president more than 10 years ago, bring the board together. “She has a long track record of working on educational issues,” she said. ” She was able to build consensus amongst board members on a variety of issues at a contentious period of time.”

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