Tamar Galatzan, incumbent, was defeated by challenger Scott Schmerelson. Likely her close connection to the much-despised John Deasy was one she couldn’t shake.
Sadly, incumbent Bennet Kayser was defeated by charter-backed Ref Rodriguez.
Finally, incumbent Richard Vladovic was re-elected over his challenger, Tea Party-allied Lydia Gutierrez.
The race was marred by mailers paid for by the California Charter Schools Association that injected distortions and an ugly tone into the race. So their candidate Ref Rodriguez won over Bennet Kayser; they succeeded in eliciting disapproving remarks from the LA Times op-ed pages and a denunciation from incumbent (not up for re-election) LAUSD School Board Member Steve Zimmer himself. Of Rodriguez’s likely reception on the board, Zimmer said:
“I come to them with olive branches, they respond with napalm,” he said in the interview referring to the interests that would align with Rodriguez.
CCSA has spent several million dollars in mailers, radio and television advertisements boosting Rodriguez’s qualifications and assaulting Kayser’s character. One mailer calls Kayser a “slumlord millionaire” who “forces tenants to live in filth.”
Another flyer featured a group of brown-skinned children below Spanish that translates to: “Bennett Kayser tried to stop Latino children from attending schools in white neighborhoods.” On the other side, it says, “He’s not for us.” An LA Times editorial following the release of the ad accused CCSA of engaging in “slimy tactics on behalf of children.”
And, a commercial equating Kayser to a 90s movie villain — Kayser Soze — ended with the shattering of a coffee cup. Kayser allies argue it is a thinly veiled allusion to his Parkinson’s disease.
“Where is the middle ground when people are trying to destroy a human being?” Zimmer asked.
Although most of the anti-Kayser campaigning has been paid for by CCSA and, therefore, is technically not part of the official campaign, Zimmer says Rodriguez, as a charter school founder, bears ultimate responsibility for the tone of his campaign.
Final city of Los Angeles election results from the official website with 100% of precincts reporting: