No love lost
United Teachers of Pasadena rescinds endorsement of Board of Ed candidate Ruben Hueso
United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) has rescinded its endorsement of District 3 Board of Education candidate Ruben Hueso over questions regarding some of Hueso’s other supporters.
“There were some issues with his endorsements and campaign team,” UTP President Alvin Nash told the Weekly.
Without being specific, Nash said Hueso had provided conflicting information on different forms regarding endorsements from individuals and organizations. Hueso, Nash said, was informed of the union’s impending action by phone message on Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — and was given until Monday night to respond, but did not.
“Communication broke down and he stopped returning our calls,” Nash said. “We gave him a deadline and he did not call back.”
When reached by phone Thursday, Hueso told the Weekly he did not know UTP had withdrawn its support.
“They have my email, phone number and personal phone number,” Hueso said. “I have not received anything from them. I need to call them. For an organization like this to make this decision, I would say the least they could do is contact me.”
Nash said that when UTP officials contacted a number of people who Hueso said supported him, they were told that information was incorrect. He also said that the UTP board had problems with Hueso receiving endorsements from some unnamed school officials from outside the Pasadena Unified School District who were not aligned with pro-labor and pro-teacher groups.
Nash refused to divulge which endorsements were in question.
Nash acknowledged that the group has not been in contact with Hueso since the decision to pull the endorsement was made two weeks ago.
“We indicated to him that this would be a possibility and we would be willing to work with him, but we never heard anything,” Nash said.
To get the endorsement of the 900-member UTP, Hueso was interviewed twice by the union’s board of directors and notified by phone and email after the decision to support him was made.
Hueso, brother of former Democratic Assemblyman Ben Hueso of San Diego, is the top fundraiser in the race, declaring $6,175, including a $5,000 campaign contribution from former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, who is also from San Diego.
Hueso’s opponents so far have not raised any declarable campaign funds.
Hueso, who has a daughter in public school and another daughter who recently graduated from Pasadena High School, is also s endorsed by Assemblyman Chris Holden, Honowitz, former Board of Education member Jackie Jacobs and Democrats of the Pasadena Foothills.
“We gave him a deadline and he did not call us back,” Nash said.