Oak View resident Tom Stafford on Thursday dropped out of the race for a Ventura County Board of Education seat held by conservative Wendy Larner. Stafford, a Green Party member who announced his bid for the position less than two weeks ago, said the state Education Code prevents him from running because he works as a substitute teacher.
"Since substitute teaching is my primary source of income, I must withdraw from the race," Stafford, 62, said in a prepared statement.
Stafford's departure leaves only Larner and Janet Lindgren, a former Oxnard Union High School Board trustee who announced her plans in April to run for the the District 3 seat. When he entered the race, Stafford said he disagreed with many of the views of the board's conservative majority represented by Larner, President Marty Bates and board member Angela Miller.
Larner and Miller were targets of a failed recall campaign last year after they voted to ban representatives from AIDS Care and Planned Parenthood from participating in teacher training workshops.
Stafford, who holds a bachelor's degree in English from UCLA, said that he regretted having to withdraw from the race. "I really wanted to be in the race," Stafford said. "The makeup of the present board in the past four years has made for a lot of contention and controversy."
Larner announced her plans last week to seek reelection.
Paul Chatman, president of the Ocean View School District board of trustees, announced his bid in April for a board seat that will be vacated by John McGarry when he retires.