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School Board Member Not to Seek Reelection, Deadline to Run Extended

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

August 7, 2020 -- School Board member Ralph Mechur did not pull nominating papers to run for re-election, extending until Wednesday the deadline for potential candidates to enter the race for three open seats.

Mechur has served on the School Board since first being appointed in 2007, except for a two-month hiatus after losing his seat in November 2014. He was reappointed to months later to fill another vacancy.

If an incumbent fails to file nominating petitions by the deadline -- which was the end of the business day Friday -- candidates have five additional days to submit their papers to the City Clerk.

The two other School Board incumbents -- Chair Jon Kean and Maria Leon Vazquez -- qualified for the ballot on Tuesday.

Vazquez was first elected in 2000, making her the longest serving member in the Board's history. Kean was elected in 2016.

Also qualifying for the ballot are challengers Seth Jacobson, Jason Feldman and Jennifer Smith.

Jacobson made an unsuccessful bid for School Board in 2012, when he ran as part of a slate of three Malibu candidates whose platform included the city's secession from the District.

School Board member Craig Foster, a Malibu resident, is up for reelection in 2022. Malibu has never had two members serving on the board at one time.

Three School Board hopefuls --Esther Hickman, Steven Johnson and Dhun May -- submitted their nominating petitions on Friday and are awaiting verification of the signatures.

Mechur -- a tireless volunteer and education activist before joining the Board -- is the only member ever appointed twice.

In August 2007, he was appointed to replace Emily Bloomfield, who resigned to move east after being reelected in November 2006.

Mechur, who had served for five years as president of the Education Foundation, was elected in an uncontested race in 2008 to serve the remainder of Bloomfield’s term. He was then re-elected in his first competitive contest in 2010.

In 2014, Mechur lost his seat when he finished fifth in the race for four seats. He was appointed again in January 2015 to fill the vacancy created when Ben Allen resigned following his election to the California Senate in November.

Mechur retained his post in November 2016 after an uncontested race for three open seats.

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