After two regular board meetings and four special board meetings, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) was unable to fill the vacancy on their School Board that resulted from the election of SAUSD School Board Member Ceci Iglesias (R) to the Santa Ana City Council. As such, they did not meet the February 9 deadline under state law to fill the vacancy by appointment, and the County Superintendent of Schools must call a special election for SAUSD, according to the OC Political Blog.
The special election won’t happen any time soon. It has been set for Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The regular election for the next term for the same School Board seat will be less than a year later on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
On December 11, the SAUSD School Board voted to hold an appointment process. Applications were due January 3. As we previously disclosed a few individuals asked for applications but there were no replies from the SAUSD.
The School Board held a special meeting on January 8 to interview the 10 applicants. During that meeting, 2 applicants were ruled ineligible because they did not live in the School District boundaries, and 3 finalists were picked from the 8 eligible applicants, including Carolyn Torres, a very liberal public school teacher, and Bruce Bauer, an attorney who previously ran for the SAUSD School Board then announced after he lost that race that he was now identifying as a homosexual.
At three special SAUSD School Board meetings in January, the SAUSD School Board Board deadlocked 2-2 on the appointee for the vacancy, with Board Members Rigo Rodriguez and Alfonso Alvarez voting to appoint Torres and Board Members John Palacio and Valerie Amezcua voting to appoint Bauer. Because the SAUSD School Board Members were unable to pick a replacement for Iglesias in time the voters will now choose that candidate.
It should be noted that all of the current SAUSD School Board Members are liberal Democrats, as are Torres and Bauer. And all of these individuals are known shills for the public school teachers’ union. However about 40% of the local voters are registered as Decline to State voters and about 25-30% are Republicans. These voters have no representation on the SAUSD School Board.
Other local candidates who turned in applications to repace Iglesias included:
- Shaulyn Barban (NPP), an 18-year-old high school senior
- Irma Macias (D), a Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2018 election for City Council, Ward 2
- Mark McLoughlin (D), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner and former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee, who came in 5th in the 2016 election for SAUSD
- Jesus Montoya (D), a community college counselor
- Gisela Contreras (R), an insurance brokerage account manager
It is very likely that Angie Cano, a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner who has run for the SAUSD School Board three times and came close to winning in 2016, according to Ballotpedia, will run again this November. She will likely be the only pro school choice candidate on the ballot. She would be our pick to replace Iglesias.
Interestingly if the Santa Ana City Council cannot figure out by March 31 who to appoint to replace Roman Reyna, who is resigning from the City Council effective March 1, then they too will have to put a Special Election to the voters. That election will be held concurrently with the SAUSD School Board Special Election, on Nov. 3.