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Local incumbents continue to declare for board races

Posted: July 17, 2013 6:59 p.m.
Updated: July 17, 2013 6:59 p.m.

Two more Santa Clarita Valley school districts joined the ranks Wednesday of those whose incumbents all plan to keep their seats during the November elections for municipal government.

Saugus Union School District's three incumbents and the William S. Hart Union High School District’s three incumbents have declared their intentions to seek re-election, school board members said Wednesday.

By Tuesday, board members for College of the Canyons and Newhall School District had all declared their intentions to file for re-election.

Filing for November races opened Monday and closes Aug. 9 unless a seat is unclaimed by an incumbent. Then the deadline is extended to Aug. 14.

The three incumbents up for re-election in the Saugus district — Doug Bryce, Paul De La Cerda and Judy Umeck — all told The Signal Wednesday they plan to run again.

All three have served multiple terms on the board for the Saugus Union district, and all three said they will support each other throughout the campaign.

“We will be certainly supporting each other,” De La Cerda said Wednesday. “We three feel that we do work well together.”

Bryce echoed that sentiment Wednesday.

“All of us add to the board and bring different experiences,” Bryce said.

The district could also have a fourth seat up for election. The position formerly held by Stephen Winkler remains unoccupied after it was declared vacant when evidence surfaced he may live outside the boundaries of the district.

Though the remaining board members voted to request a special election to fill Winkler’s old seat, Umeck said Wednesday that move is subject to review from an outside agency, such as the Los Angeles County Office of Education or the county District Attorney’s Office.

“We were diligent, we were transparent, we were thorough and we stand by our decision,” Umeck said about the process Wednesday. “We will absolutely cooperate with any other agencies moving forward.”

Hart district board member Bob Jensen also said Wednesday he plans to seek re-election, meaning every incumbent in that district will be on the ballot seeking four-year terms in November.

“I am definitely, absolutely, 100 percent running again,” Jensen said Wednesday. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Jensen said he thinks his experience as a certified public accountant has and would continue to serve him well as a board member.

“I think that my CPA background would really help us move forward as we still deal with the recession and move out of these recessionary times,” he said.

Jensen also said he wants to see Castaic High School open in 2016 and other district modernization projects come to fruition.

“It’s all about being there to provide opportunities for students and giving them the best education possible,” Jensen said.

Current Hart district board President Joe Messina announced his intention to run earlier this week and Chris Fall, who was appointed to his seat in June, said he, too, plans to seek a full term in November.

There are now four local school districts of the six holding November elections for which every incumbent has announced plans to seek re-election. The other two are Newhall School District and the College of the Canyons Board of Trustees.

Seats are also up for grabs in the Castaic Union School District, Sulphur Springs School District and Newhall County Water District.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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