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ELECTIONS / COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT : Teen-Ager Gets More Than Youth Vote

April 22, 1993|TRACEY KAPLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHATSWORTH — He didn't have a plan.

But 28,753 people voted for high school senior Josh Addison Arce anyway--nearly four times as many as for mayoral candidate Nick Patsaouras, whose "man with a plan" campaign to reform Los Angeles flopped in the polls.

Arce, 17, who was too young to cast a vote for himself, lost his bid for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College District board. With all but two precincts reporting Wednesday, he appears to have come in fifth out of eight candidates.

Not exactly a stellar showing, but not bad for a Homecoming King who spent a grand total of $50 in donations on the race, or 0.17 of a cent per vote.

The top two candidates, lawyer and college lecturer Elizabeth Garfield and incumbent Patrick Owens, will face each other in a June 8 runoff.

In a post-election interview Wednesday, Arce credited classmates at Chatsworth High School with helping him win 7.8% of the vote. The teen-agers received credits in government classes for distributing flyers touting student power to about 4,000 households in the district, which stretches from Long Beach to Chatsworth.

Unlike most losers, Arce also had a good word to say for the media. The youngest candidate seeking an elected office in Los Angeles history, Arce was the subject of several newspaper articles sparked by a flood of news releases distributed by his campaign staff.

The campaign was marred by one conflict, Arce said. Two favorable articles published in the Chatsworth High student newspaper were written by Editor Jason Sattler, who was Arce's campaign manager.

"People said, 'There they go, manipulating the press,' " Arce said, pointing out that most of the readers of the campus paper were too young to vote.

Arce said he would like to be elected to Congress someday, although he's having trouble deciding which college to attend. But his pleasure at his electoral showing goes beyond the personal.

"The victory out of the loss is other people will want to get involved," he said. "Someday, there's going to be a student on that board."

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