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12 Newcomers to Lead Antelope Valley Schools


Voters have given the Antelope Valley area's 10 school districts an influx of new leaders, picking newcomers for 12 of 21 school board seats in Tuesday's election, returns showed Wednesday.

Challengers defeated incumbents in four races and eight other newcomers won election to seats without incumbents . The 12 will take office next month.

Turnout in the Antelope Valley area was light. Los Angeles County officials said they had counted ballots from only 11.7% of the valley's 99,495 registered voters.

In the Antelope Valley Community College District, incumbents Donald Ross and Earl Wilson easily won reelection over challenger Felix LeMarinel. Ross got 7,369 votes (39.3%), Wilson 6,803 (36.3%) and LeMarinel 4,570 (24.4%).

In the Antelope Valley Union High School District, two seats went to anti-gang advocate Billy Pricer, 4,846 votes (25.2%), and incumbent Wilda Andrejcik, 4,229 votes (22%). Incumbent Jarold Wright did not run.

In a race to replace a member of the Antelope Valley High School board who died, appointed incumbent Bob McMullen finished last and was unseated. Antelope Valley College administrator Charles Whiteside won a two-year term with 3,671 votes (37.5%).

In the Eastside Union School District, two seats went to incumbent Ida Ward, 316 votes (26.2%), and former district employee Debra Branch, 305 votes (25.2%). Incumbent Willard Ritchie, 285 votes (23.6%) was ousted.

In the Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District, motion picture company manager Michael Taylor, 202 votes (24.4%), and community activist Judy Toothaker, 199 votes (24.1%), were elected to two seats from a field of six candidates. Incumbents Steve Nemback and Frank McCarahan did not seek reelection.

In the Keppel Union School District, Ruth Ann Bones, the wife of a local water district manager, finished first, 381 votes (28.1%), among five candidates to win a seat. Appointed incumbent Cristina Arklin, wife of a trash disposal company owner, finished second, 318 votes (23.4%), to win the other seat. Incumbent David Beardsley did not seek reelection.

In the Lancaster School District, seats went to Sheriff's Deputy James Jeffra, 2,417 votes (33.1%), and aerospace worker Andy Visokey, 1,904 votes (26.1%). Incumbents William Taylor and Frank Astourian did not seek reelection.

In the Palmdale School District, incumbent Larry Ott finished first, 1,408 votes (35.8%), to win reelection. Drapery store owner Helen Acosta finished second, 1,313 votes (33.4%), to win a second seat, ousting Sheldon Epstein.

In the Soledad-Agua Dulce Union School District, two candidates who favor the district expanding to include its own high school were elected: Joyce Field with 202 votes (24.8%), and Rebecca Small with 193 votes (23.7%). Among five candidates, incumbent Martin Barofsky finished fourth and was ousted. Appointed incumbent Fred Fate did not seek reelection.

In the Westside Union School District, incumbent Gwen Farrell finished first with 1,057 votes (35.7%) to win reelection. A second seat went to teacher Christine LeBeau, 1,050 votes (35.5%), who defeated teacher Scott Gmur, who had 851 votes (28.8%). Incumbent David Doddridge did not run.

In the Wilsona School District, incumbents Maurice Kunkel and Gayle Duns fended off four challengers. Kunkel led with 233 votes (32.2%), followed by Duns with 152 votes (21%).

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