Santa Monica Lookout
B e s t   l o c a l   s o u r c e   f o r   n e w s   a n d   i n f o r m a t i o n

Brock Drops from Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Race as Possible Field of Four Forms
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

August 18, 2016 -- A field of up to four candidates will compete in the November election for three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board. The deadline to enter the race was Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The confirmed candidates are elected incumbent Maria Leon-Vazquez, appointed incumbent Ralph Mechur and challenger Jon Kean. County officials have validated at least 100 signatures on their nomination papers.

Attorney Jason Feldman submitted his nomination papers on Friday, and they are under review.

Recently appointed Arts Commissioner Phil Brock and two-time former U.S. congressional candidate Paul Whitehead pulled nomination papers, but did not return them.

“My appointment to the Arts Commission, an upcoming Kiwanis Club presidency, my work with the Samohi Alumni Association and my career focus would not have allowed me to devote my full attention to our youth as a school board member,” wrote Brock in an email to The Lookout.

Brock wrote that he would focus on a 2018 run for City Council. Political observers had thought he would run for council this year because he nearly won a seat in 2014 and remains active in the slow-growth movement.

Although Brock will not run for school board, the Santa Monica native had some parting shots about the conditions of the school district.

“I am distressed at the numerous distractions that have been allowed to interfere with the district's mission,” Brock wrote.

He continued, “Looking at the disrepair of our school facilities, the need for a toxic-free, safe learning environment and the need for both the cities of Malibu and Santa Monica to have successful, independent school districts, there was ample reason to run [for a board seat].”

Even if Feldman qualifies for the race, it will feature the smallest field since four candidates ran for three seats in 2008.

If Feldman does not qualify, this will be the first school board election since 1986 that the number of candidates equals the number of seats available.

Leon-Vazquez is running for a fifth term. She was first elected in 2000 and has been successfully re-elected every four years since then.

Mechur has had a much more eventful journey.

He joined the board in 2007 as an appointee to fill the seat vacated by Emily Bloomfield, who had moved to another state. The next year, Mechur was elected in an uncontested special election to keep the seat for the remainder of Bloomfield’s term.

He was re-elected in his first competitive contest in 2010, but lost a bid to keep the seat in 2014. Two months later, Mechur was back on the board as an appointee to fill the seat vacated by Ben Allen, who had been elected to the State Senate.

Kean and potentially Feldman will be running for a school board seat for the first time.

Council Candidates Wait for Confirmation

The City Council nomination period ended Friday with a potential field of 11 candidates. The four incumbents--Gleam Davis, Ted Winterer, Tony Vazquez and Terry O’Day--have qualified, while the challengers are waiting for confirmation.

City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren told The Lookout she expects to hear from the County about whether the challengers have qualified by the end of this week or early next week.

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2016 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures