PASADENA — Roberta M. (Bobbie) Moon avoided a runoff in Tuesday's election for a vacant seat on the Pasadena Unified School District board by capturing 57.2% of the vote. She defeated George A. Padilla, who received 29.8%, and Arlene Moncrief, who ran a distant third with 12.9%.
The three were running for the seat vacated by Kathryn Nack, who was successful in her bid for election to the Board of Directors.
Moon, who had campaigned on the need to improve communication between parents and the district administration, attributed her victory to that issue.
"The message that the district needs to improve communication struck a chord with the electorate," she said. "They want to be heard and have a voice in the district."
Moon, a computer consultant, is a graduate of the Pasadena school system and has two children attending district schools. She is president of the Altadena Elementary School PTA.
Padilla, an engineer, said he had expected a runoff, which would have been held April 21 if no candidate had received more than 50% of the vote Tuesday.
"I started (campaigning) late and had hoped to pick up momentum," he said. "But the turning point was the low voter turnout. That's where my strategy went wrong."
Only 12.4% of the 100,100 registered voters in the district, which covers Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, cast ballots. Moon received 6,733 votes, Padilla 3,515 and Moncrief 1,518.
Moncrief, an accountant who ran unsuccessfully for the board two years ago, said she was disappointed at the results and also blamed low voter turnout.
"There was apathy and a lack of concern, but I will run again," she said.