LA Unified Board President Richard Vladovic successfully held his District 7 seat last night, winning a third term by the largest margin of the day’s three elections in a race with the lowest turn out.
He won with 56 percent of the vote to Lydia Gutierrez’s 44 percent.
Mike Trujillo, a campaign consultant to Vladovic, told LA School Report, that Vladovic’s appeal lies in his ability to strike the right balance on a range of issues.
“Dr. Vladovic’s educational career has always been about putting students, parents and teachers first, Trujillo saids. “His political career is much like that of Goldilocks where the porridge is never too hot, never too cold, always just right.”
Apparently, the mix also appealed to political action committees on the reform and union sides. Vladovic was the only candidate in all three of the races to receive endorsements from pro-charter advocates, including the California Charters Schools Association PAC and labor groups UTLA and SEIU.
Gutierrez had no major endorsements and little campaign money throughout the election.
Despite that she made an impressive splash in the March primary race finishing only five percentage points behind Vladovic. And as recently as April, an internal poll of District 7 voters by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates and Great Public Schools: Los Angeles, showed Gutierrez, leading by 37 percent to 34 percent, with 29 percent undecided, in a statistical tie. The margin of error was 4.9 percent.
Last night’s defeat marks her fifth failed bid for public office since 2008. In her most recent before now, she came in third in a run for state superintendent last year against Tom Torlakson and Marshall Tuck.
Vladovic was first elected to the board in 2007 and became president in 2013. Over most of that time the board slashed billions from the district budget.
But with more than $700 million in extra revenue coming in next year, he says he wants now to focus on leading the district into more prosperous and efficient times through priorities that include proper distribution of money to schools that need it most, a MiSiS system that works, a teacher evaluation system that’s fair and a better use of best practices districtwide.