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School board elections heat up with 4 more candidates jumping into race

Sarah Favot | August 8, 2016

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MonicaGarcia1Four more candidates have entered the race to run for two school board seats in the March 7 election.

Three people in the last 10 days have filed with the city Ethics Commission an intent to raise money to challenge Monica Garcia for school board in District 2, and one person has entered the race for the vacant seat in District 6, which is held by Monica Ratliff, who is running for City Council.

Manuel Aldana Jr., Walter R. Bannister and Berny Motto have joined Carl Petersen in challenging Garcia.

Araz Parseghian will run in District 6 and is the only candidate to declare an intent to do so.

Campaign finance reports show Garcia dominating in early fundraising. She raised about $120,000 in the first six months of this year. Petersen, who ran unsuccessfully in 2015 for the District 3 seat, raised $805 in the same period.

District 2 covers East LA, Pico-Union, downtown Los Angeles and its surrounding neighborhoods and is heavily Latino. Garcia, who was board president for an unprecedented six consecutive years, was first elected in that district in 2006.

District 6 covers the east San Fernando Valley. Ratliff was elected in 2013. She filed an intent to run for a City Council seat in March.

Parseghian filed an intent to run for the seat on Aug. 2.

The primary election will take place on March 7. Also running are Board President Steve Zimmer in District 4, who is seeking re-election against challenger Nick Melvoin. Melvoin has raised about $124,000, compared to Zimmer’s $7,300, according to city filings.

School board candidates officially file for the race in November, but they can begin to raise money and declare their intent to do so with the Ethics Commission.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the March 7 primary, the top two vote-getters go on to compete in the May 16 general election.

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