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Incumbents Sweep Board Races
 

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By Jorge Casuso

November 4, 2020 -- Incumbents easily won re-election to the School, College and Rent Control boards Tuesday, and one first-time candidate will join their ranks after making a strong showing.

The latest vote tallies released at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday showed the eight candidates leading in the three races more than 10,000 votes ahead of the nearest challenger.

In the race for three School Board seats, Chair Jon Kean leads with 20,366 votes, followed by Maria-Leon Vazquez with 19,202 votes.

Kean will be entering his second four-year term, while Maria Leon- Vazquez will be entering her sixth, making her the longest serving member in the Board's history.

Jen Smith -- a former PTA Council President -- is third with 18,366 votes. She will replace School Board member Ralph Mechur, who did not seek reelection after first being appointed to the board in 2007.

The closest contender, Jason K. Feldman, is a distant fourth with 11,748 votes.

The three incumbents in the race for three College Board seats have served a combined total of 52 years on the seven-member board.

Vice Chair Susan Aminoff leads the race with 28,036 votes, followed by Margaret Quinones-Perez with 27,020 and Rob Rader with 24,100.

Rader is nearly 11,000 votes ahead of the only challenger, Brian O'Neal, who has 13,123 votes.

Aminoff and Rader have served on the College Board since 2004, while Quinones-Perez has been a trustee since 2000.

Both incumbents in the race for two open seats on the Rent Board lead their nearest challenger by more than 11,000 votes.

Caroline M. Torosis leads the race with 22,679 votes, while Anastasia Foster has won 21,647 votes.

Challenger Aishah Newsom has 9,360 votes followed by Robert Kronovet with 8,438 votes. Kronoovet is making a bid to regain the seat he lost eight years ago after pulling a major upset in 2012.

Two local ballot initiatives -- Measures SM and AB -- were headed to easy victories with about 72 and 61 percent of the vote respectively. The measures need a simple majority to pass.

Measure SM, which would boost Santa Monica's "luxury" real estate tax to help fund municipal services, has 30,685 votes in favor and 11,704 against.

Measure AB, which would amend the City Charter to help diversify the municipal workforce, has 23,547 votes in favor and 15,144 against.


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