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LAUSD School Board District 2 Primary Results: Monica Garcia Leads Comfortably, Could Avoid Runoff

School Board President Monica Garcia enjoys a healthy lead in the early vote count, outpacing her rivals with 55 percent of the vote.

Robert Skeels is in second place with 16 percent, followed by Annamarie Montanez with 12 percent, Isabel Vazquez with 10 percent, and Abelardo Diaz with 7 percent.

If these results hold, Garcia would win the election outright, avoiding what might have been a nasty runoff election with Skeels.

Garcia, a close ally of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and supporter of Superintendent John Deasy, enjoys the backing of the Coalition for School Reform as well as the SEIU, which represents LAUSD classified workers.

The teachers union, curiously, has endorsed three candidates: Skeels, Montanez and Diaz. They've spent most of their money on the District 4 race. What little money they have spent on District 2 has been spent on negative mailers attacking Garcia. Their hope is that the race goes to a runoff, where they can campaign heavily for Garcia'a opponent.

Garcia's opponents are all heavily critical of the direction of LAUSD and the policies instituted by Superintendent Deasy. Skeels, in particular, is an extreme anti-reform, pro-union candidate. For example, he says that charter schools represent the "privatization of public education," and calls non-profts like the United Way part of the "non-profit industrial complex."

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