July 10, 2014
LAWT News Service
Retired superintendent and decorated educator George McKenna’s campaign for the vacant LAUSD District 1 school board seat got a huge boost July 8, with the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
“I am proud to be the only candidate in the August 12th election endorsed by the L.A. County Democratic Party,” said McKenna. “This is a powerful endorsement of my candidacy and a real affirmation of the community-centered campaign that I am running.”
McKenna nearly won the District 1 seat outright on June 3 by garnering about 45% of the vote. Because McKenna just missed the 50% + 1 threshold, a special runoff election will be held on August 12 between McKenna and the second-place finisher, who finished 20 points behind McKenna.
McKenna far exceeded the tough 60% threshold necessary to earn the party’s endorsement. Two-thirds of the delegates voted for the esteemed educator, more than twice as many as his opponent. “It wasn’t even close,” said McKenna campaign manager Jewett Walker.
The L.A. County Democratic Party endorsement is the latest big endorsement secured by McKenna in the past four weeks. The streak started by earning the overwhelming support of a very powerful voice in education, the LAUSD teacher’s union United Teachers Los Angeles. “We don’t need a politician. We need an educator,” said Marco Flores, chair of UTLA political action committee.
Recently, the campaign announced the endorsement of 4 of the 5 candidates in the June 3 election, including third-place finisher Sherlett Hendy-Newbill – a Dorsey HS educator, former LAUSD Board Member Genethia Hudley-Hayes, Gardena Councilmember and teacher Rachel Johnson and long-time LAUSD educator Hattie McFrazier. All recognize that McKenna will be an independent voice, is unquestionably more qualified, and has demonstrated track record of putting children first.
“These recent big endorsements, matched with the endorsement of the LA Times, La Opinión and LA Sentinel and the over 100 leaders in the education, ecumenical, political, and civic community leaders should make clear to District 1 voters that George McKenna is the community’s choice,” said Walker.
LAUSD Board District 1 spans from Windsor Hills to the southwest, Cheviot Hills to the northwest, Hancock Park to the north, University Park to the northeast and parts of Gardena to the southeast and has been represented by an African-American since districts were first established in 1979. At 41 percent, it is the only LAUSD district with a plurality of African-American voters.
The vacancy in LAUSD Board District 1 was caused by the unexpected death of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte on December 5, 2013.
For more information about the George McKenna for School Board campaign, visit the campaign website www.electmckenna.com or follow the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@ElectMcKenna.