December 11, 2023

OAKLAND — Former college principal Jorge Lerma has a considerable lead within the race for a vacant Oakland Unified college board seat, however later returns on Thursday indicated that opponent Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez is chopping into it.

Lerma now has roughly a 57% to 43% benefit over Ritzie-Hernandez, narrowed down from the 63% to 37% benefit he held in preliminary Tuesday night time outcomes.

Near 1,300 further eligible ballots have been counted within the newest returns, bringing the full turnout to about 3,500 in Oakland’s District 5, a largely Latino space south of I-580 that features elements of East Oakland, together with Fremont Excessive and the Fruitvale neighborhood.

It’s unclear what number of votes are left to rely, on condition that any ballots that arrive within the coming days have to be tabulated, so long as they have been postmarked on or earlier than the day of the particular election on Nov. 6.

The District 5 seat is the one one vacant on the Oakland Unified College District board, which incessantly finds itself cut up over funds and political points — notably ones in regards to the strong lecturers union.

Labor teams independently spent almost $50,000 making an attempt to elect Ritzie-Hernandez, a robust union ally who was additionally endorsed by state Legal professional Normal Rob Bonta.

Lerma noticed no such monetary help, although within the final days earlier than the election he canvassed neighborhoods with former Mayor Libby Schaaf and one-time Councilmember Loren Taylor.

The 2 candidates haven’t beforehand held workplace. Lerma a long time in the past served as a principal within the Oakland faculties, whereas Ritzie-Hernandez has been an schooling advocate and volunteered for a previous college board marketing campaign.

In his final bid for the District 5 seat, Lerma obtained simply 11% of the vote in a three-candidate race.

He primarily based his marketing campaign on diversifying the school at Oakland faculties and changing the district’s smaller campuses — a few of which have been unsuccessfully slated for closure in years previous — into part-time group facilities.

In lieu of providing clear coverage targets, Ritzie-Hernandez mentioned she was desirous to study on the job and meant to be a trustable voice for marginalized college students.