Now that various interest groups have had a chance to check out the candidates running for the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees, the endorsements are in.
Four seats are up for grabs this November, and new this year is election by trustee area-only. This means voters in four separate geographic regions can only vote for one candidate.
The four seats up for grabs are:
- Trustee Area No. 1, which includes parts of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Capistrano Beach and North San Clemente
- Trustee Area No. 2, which includes parts of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Coto de Caza
- Trustee Area No. 3, San Clemente
- Trustee Area No. 5, Aliso Viejo
Only areas Nos. 3 and 5 feature incumbents seeking re-election, John Alpay and President Gary Pritchard, respectively.
The Capistrano Unified Education Association, the local teachers’ union, endorses the two incumbents and Amy Hanacek, who is running in Area No. 1.
According to an Aug. 30 letter from the union leadership, both Hanacek and her opponent, Karin Schnell of Dana Point, applied for endorsement. Only Alpay applied from Area 3 and none of the four candidates from Area 2 applied.
Pritchard was previously endorsed as a "friendly incumbent," according to the email.
Capistrano Unified Children First, a parent group often closely allied with the teachers whose website is linked twice from the aforementioned CUEA email, endorses the same three and also Carol McCormick for Area No. 2.
These two groups were among the biggest donors in the November 2010 election which recalled two board members and replaced them with Alpay and Prichard.
The Democrat Party has not endorsed any Capo Unified trustee candidates, while the OC Republicans have endorsed Jim Reardon for Area No. 2, Steve Lang for Area No. 3 and Bill Perkins in Area No. 5. Although the school board is non-partisan, party-affiliated slate mailers can play a role in turnout and results.
Here are some other key endorsements for the candidates:
Trustee Area No. 1
Schnell: Does not have a campaign website.
Hanacek: No endorsements listed at Hanacek’s website
Trustee Area No. 2
Michele Taylor-Bible: Does not have a campaign website.
McCormick: No endorsements listed at McCormick’s website.
Don Franklin Richardson: No website. He said he's purposely not seeking endorsements to see if a candidate with no money can still win a local election.
Reardon: From his website, Lincoln Club of Orange County, California Republican Assembly, Family Action PAC.
Trustee Area No. 3
Alpay: His website includes a long list of individuals, among whom are San Clemente City Councilman Jim Dahl, Mayor Jim Evert and current CUSD Trustees Jack Brick, Lynn Hatton and Pritchard.
Yvonne McNamara: No known website, no candidate statement on file.
Lang: His website includes a long list of individuals and organizations, among whom are the Lincoln Club of Orange County, California Republican Assembly, San Clemente City Council members Tim Brown and Bob Baker and current Trustees Ellen Addonizio and Sue Palazzo.
Trustee Area No. 5
Pritchard: None listed at his website.
Perkins: His website includes several, including U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Aliso Viejo City Councilman Greg Ficke and current Trustees Addonizio and Palazzo.