In what is likely to be a series of campaign shakeups over the next few weeks, two candidates have withdrawn from the LAUSD school board race, both in District 6, which covers the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley:
First, candidate Brian Muller decided to withdraw shortly after he declared his intention to run.
“I need to spend more time forging alliances with like-minded political groups,” the 38 year-old San Fernando High School teacher told LA School Report. Muller denied a rumor that a representative from UTLA had asked him not to run: “The decision to step back was mine.” He said he plans to run for school board again some time in the future.
Perhaps the most surprising candidate to drop out so far is Ernie Cardenas, brother of soon-to-be Congressman Tony Cardenas, who was expected to be a strong candidate. Cardenas was not available to comment.
The remaining candidates for District 6 are Maria Cano, Monica Ratliff, Antonio Sanchez (who just received the SEIU endorsement), and Iris Zuniga.
*UPDATE: In an email. Cardenas says he withdrew because “the divide is to large and school board members are limited in the changes needed to fix our schools” and asks supporters to pass media inquiries to PR person Cornejo. See below for full text.
Previous posts: Board Candidates: Latest Lineup, District 6: SEIU & UTLA Endorsements*, Candidates To Watch
Those of you who know me well, know my strong desire to make a difference and do everything I do with integrity and honesty.
Four weeks ago, I tossed my name into the hat as a candidate for school board. I, perhaps naively, thought that I could be a consensus builder to bring all parties together to find solutions to the many challenges our education system faces. Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that the divide is to large and school board members are limited in the changes needed to fix our schools.
Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration as a candidate for school board. We need to fix our schools and our entire education system. I will not give up on finding a way in which I can be effective.
For now I will continue to work to make the difference in the lives of young people and the people of the northeast valley, as I have for the last 20 years. I will also take this time to search and analyze where it is that I can make the biggest impact.
Thank you, to all of you who believed in me and worked so diligently to help my campaign. I owe all of you a big debt of gratitude. You showed me that rain or shine you were there to work for our community.
Lastly, if you get any media inquiries, please refer them to Jose Cornejo at [phone number]