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Tokofsky Faces Rios-Parra in L.A. Unified Board Race

March 20, 2003|Erika Hayasaki | Times Staff Writer

After two weeks of counting straggler ballots, election officials said Wednesday that Los Angeles Board of Education incumbent David Tokofsky will face a May 20 runoff against Nellie Rios-Parra, a Lennox schools administrator and teacher.

Tokofsky, whose seat in the 5th District stretches from Los Feliz and Eagle Rock to Bell and Bell Gardens, received 47.83% of the vote in the March 4 primary, according to final results. Rios-Parra placed second in the four-way race, with 27.62%.

The results took a long time to tally because several hundred regular, absentee and provisional ballots were not submitted right away, including some from cities outside Los Angeles but within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"I'm proud to have gotten such strong voter support," said Tokofsky, a two-term board member backed by United Teachers-Los Angeles.

In the next weeks, Tokofsky said, he will keep up "the same hard work of voter contact, raising money and staying focused on the issues," such as district accountability and student achievement.

Rios-Parra, who received financial help for her primary campaign from the Coalition for Kids, a political action group financed by former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and billionaire businessman Eli Broad, said she was excited.

"It's an opportunity to really get our message out to voters and give them a really good chance to elect a new school board member," she said. "I'm very confident."

Candidate Jose Sigala placed third, with 13% of the votes, while Maria Lou Calanche received 11.55%.

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