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News Update

Two Los Angeles Unified school board seats may be heading to a runoff

Early voting results indicate two Los Angeles Unified school board races may be heading to runoff in November in an election season that has largely focused on pandemic recovery and declining enrollment rather than clashing over charter schools. The other seat up for grabs this year appears to have garnered enough votes to secure reelection. 

Most of the focus this election season has been on Board District 2 — the only race without an incumbent running for the seat. A District 2 runoff may be joined by one in District 6, where incumbent Kelly Gonez appears to be just around the threshold for reelection. Voters appear to have secured the seat for incumbent Nick Melvoin in District 4.

District 2 candidates Rocio Rivas and Maria Brenes will most likely face each other in November. Rivas, who has garnered the support of United Teachers Los Angeles, is leading the polls per initial results, followed by Brenes, who garnered the support of the Local 99 of Service Employees International Union. 

Rivas is the policy deputy for current board member Jackie Goldberg, and Brenes is the executive director of nonprofit InnerCity Struggle. Brenes also has the closest ties to outgoing District 2 board member Monica Garcia, who has termed out. 

In District 6, Gonez is just under the 50% of votes she would need to avoid moving on to a November runoff. Gonez received the support of both UTLA and pro-charter supporters in an unusual alignment between the two groups. 

In District 4, Melvoin appears to have passed the threshold to secure his seat this primary. UTLA did not endorse Melvoin or any candidates in this race. Neither of Melvoin’s opponents reportedly raised money for their campaigns.