Every ballot matters
Board of Education incumbents win as Hueso and Hampton wait for extra votes to be counted
By André Coleman 03/07/2013
Three incumbents easily won back their respective seats in Tuesday’s elections for four of seven seats in newly configured voting districts within the Pasadena Unified School District.
One candidate, however, may have come up a few votes shy of avoiding a runoff election in April.
District 3 candidate Ruben Hueso, who took 756 votes, or 49.9 percent, needed 50 percent plus one vote to win outright. Tyron Hampton Jr. came in second, with 36.9 percent, or 559 votes.
Pasadena City Clerk Mark Jomsky said 500 uncounted mail-in school board election ballots will be tallied by Monday. If a runoff election is needed, it will be held on April 16, said Jomsky.
Despite changes made to the district’s voting procedures to increase minority participation in PUSD elections, white incumbents Kim Kenne, Elizabeth Pomeroy and Scott Phelps easily retained their respective seats in Districts 1, 5 and 7.
In the District 1 race, Kenne captured 1,035 votes, or 71.8 percent of the ballots cast, to defeat Dean Cooper, who captured 405 votes.
In District 5, Pomeroy shocked political observers by easily defeating community activist Stella Murga by a margin of 1,077 to 484 votes to win a second term.
In his District 7 race, Phelps picked up 2,001 votes, or 61.5 percent, to challenger Luis Ayala’s 1,252 votes, or 38.4 percent of the ballots cast.
The new district boundaries were created last year by special task force in hopes of staving off potential lawsuits that might be filed against the district under provisions of the California Voting Rights Act. In all, seven minority candidates competed for the four open board seats in Tuesday’s elections.
In the District 3 race, which did not feature an incumbent candidate, Foster mother Deidra Duncan — who did not campaign —took 8.1 percent of the ballots cast, or 124 votes, and Guillermo Arce finished last, taking just 75 votes, or 5 percent.