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Runoff: Union & LA Times Might Shift Endorsements

Hillel Aron | April 12, 2013

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District 6 School Board candidate Antonio Sanchez got nearly 44% of the vote in the March Primary — just 6 points shy of the 50 percent that would have given him an outright victory.

So don’t expect any big changes in his May 21 runoff election with teacher Monica Ratliff.

“We only need to capture less than 10 percent of the outstanding vote,” Sanchez political consultant Mike Shimpock told LA School Report. “It’s not like our model is gonna change considerably.”

But possible changes in endorsements from the UTLA’s House of Representatives and the LA Times editorial page next week could shake things up.

Right now, the campaign is in a somewhat lower gear. Ballots don’t go out to voters until April 22. Sanchez is raising money and calling voters, while his campaign is targeting early absentee voters, a demographic that likely tipped the balance for Steve Zimmer, another client of Shimpock’s, who won last month in District 4.

Independent Expenditure campaigns by the Coalition for School Reform and the SEIU local 99 supported Sanchez in the primary to the tune of $1.2 million, and they’re expected to play a similar role in the general election. In fact, they’ve already spent nearly $50,000, according to the LA Ethics Commission.

But possible changes in union and newspaper endorsements would change the dynamics somewhat.

The teachers union endorsed three out of four District 6 candidates in the primary, including both Sanchez and Ratliff. Next week, the union’s governing body, the House of Representatives, will likely vote again on whether or not to change that endorsement to only Ratliff.

The House met last month but didn’t have enough members for a quorum. The move would take a 2/3 majority.

“I don’t think they have enough votes to make it happen,” said Shimpock. “I just don’t think that Antonio has done anything that would merit them pulling the endorsement. I know they’re upset about the Coalition IE, but that’s out of his control. They endorsed him, he didn’t endorse them.”

If the House changed its endorsement, the move would draw a bright line between the two candidates and allow for the possibility of a modest IE campaign on Ratliff’s.

Another endorsement that might get changed is the LA Times. The newspaper surprisingly endorsed Ratliff in the primary, but Shimpock says the Times has called both candidates in for a re-interview next week.

“I think they took exception with our opponent saying she would get rid of Deasy,” said Shimpock.

Previous posts: District 6 Candidate Hardens Position on Deasy LeadershipUnion Endorsements Unchanged for District 6Reform Coalition Attacks Sanchez Opponents in District 6After Election, Board Status Quo Remains Intact

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