Rivas pulls ahead of Brenes in L.A. school board race; Gonez remains the lead of her race

Rocio Rivas has overtaken Maria Brenes in a key Los Angeles Department of Education competition to represent downtown, surrounding neighborhoods and the Eastside, according to the county’s latest vote count.

Votes are still being counted but in an updated tally released on Friday, Rivas moved 47 votes ahead of Brenes, who has held the lead since polls ended on Tuesday.

In the second board race for a seat representing the eastern San Fernando Valley, school board president Kelly Gonez extended her lead over challenger Marvin Rodriguez to 1,578 votes, but the race remains close. Gonez has 51.27% of the votes counted; Rodriguez 48.73%. Rodriguez, a high school Spanish teacher with virtually no campaign money and no major sponsorships, had performed surprisingly well.

The fight between Brenes and Rivas should be hard fought. As of Friday, the count in their race stood at 30,736 votes for Rivas, or 50.04%, versus 30,689 votes for Brenes, or 49.96%.

Many votes have yet to be counted and it is difficult to predict trends as many mail-in ballots and provisional ballots may still be pending. Ballots mailed out as late as Election Day, November 8, will be counted if they arrive by next Tuesday.

Based on June elementary turnout, 10,000 to 15,000 votes could still be counted in each school board district.

Campaign dollar figures through Friday showed that $9.5 million went into the Brenes-Rivas District 2 contest, with about twice that amount spent — $3 million more — on behalf of Brenes, the leader of the Boyle Heights-based community group InnerCity Struggle.

Independent campaigns on her behalf have been funded by Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents janitors, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teaching assistants, and a political action committee led by retired businessman Bill Bloomfield and Netflix founder Reed Hastings, a charter school , is controlled fan.

United Teachers Los Angeles launched a major independent campaign on behalf of Rivas, a senior advisor to school board member Jackie Goldberg. The union leadership has aligned with Rivas in calling to curb the growth and influence of charter schools, which are privately run, mostly non-union and publicly funded, and compete with district-run schools for students.

The winner of the Rivas Brenes contest replaces longtime incumbent Monica Garcia, who was unable to run again due to term limits.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-11/rivas-pulls-ahead-of-brenes-in-l-a-school-board-race-gonez-remains-in-the-lead-of-her-race Rivas pulls ahead of Brenes in L.A. school board race; Gonez remains the lead of her race

Alley Einstein

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