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LAUSD board election ‘debate’ becomes Ref Rodriguez show

Craig Clough | January 29, 2015

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Ref Rodriguez @mandelljasonIt was supposed to be the first debate of the LA Unified school board races, but it wasn’t: Only one candidate showed up.

With board member Bennett Kayser and challenger Andrew Thomas pulling out, the floor for the District 5 forum belonged to candidate Ref Rodriguez, who had all the time he liked last night to make his case to a packed room at the Goodwill Community Enrichment Center in northeast LA.

The lack of a debate didn’t keep people away as about 200 reportedly showed up to hear Rodriguez.

The forum was the first in a series of campaign events sponsored by the United Way–Los Angeles. After committing to the debate, Kayser announced earlier this week that “scheduling conflicts” would prevent him from participating in it and in a second United Way event, Feb. 10 at the Oldtimers Foundation Family Center in Huntington Park. In response, Thomas also cancelled, saying he would not appear at any forum that did not include all three candidates.

Elmer Roldan, an organizer of the forum, told LA School Report, “The event really went well considering all the improvisation. We had a packed house with 200 residents in attendance.”

The election is scheduled for March 3. Here are some reactions, photos and reports on social media from some people who were at the event.

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