Rivas leads Brenes in the race for the school board’s top spot

Rivas leads Brenes in the race for the school board's top spot

Rivas pulls ahead of Brenes in L.A. school board race; Gonez remains the lead of her race

LANCASTER — An East Los Angeles school board member and a West Los Angeles businessman who are locked in a close race to replace retiring board President Richard Brenes have pulled ahead of the two other candidates in a primary election for the April 5 general election.

While both candidates raised more than the $1,000 required for inclusion on the ballot, and each held campaign events yesterday, neither candidate won a majority of votes.

Superintendent of Schools Robert Rivas, a Democrat, held a slight lead over his Republican opponent, Paul Gonez, a Democrat, in the race for the school board’s top spot.

Both Rivas and Gonez also raised more than $1,000 for the election, though Rivas raised more than Gonez because he collected more money from outside California — $12,000 from Virginia, $6,000 from Nebraska, $6,000 from Arizona and $6,000 from Germany.


Rivas pulled ahead of Gonez, 39.46 percent to 35.78 percent of the votes, in the race for the second spot on the board.

Superintendent of Schools Robert Rivas, a Democrat, has the lead in the April 5 school board election, a close race in which a supervisory role means he has an edge over three-term board President Richard Brenes.

A supervisory position means that Rivas is in the driver’s seat for four more years at least, a role that might be more important than in the past, when the top job was supposed to be one that he would not want to relinquish.

Gonez, who served as Brenes’ legislative aide for six years, held an almost identical second-place showing in the primary.

She raised more than Rivas but had more campaign events in the district than did Rivas.

Rivas held his first campaign event at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant called the Black Pearl on Monday afternoon, a day after the other two candidates spoke at churches in the district.


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