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Evans, Foster Lead In San Diego Schools Races

— San Diego Unified School District Board of Education President John Lee Evans was headed for a runoff Wednesday against his challenger, Mark Powell.

Evans, a psychologist, is the current board president. He faced two challengers in the race for the Sub District A seat, which represents north inland areas like Clairement Mesa, University City and Mira Mesa.

Mark Powell is a former teacher, principal and police officer and now works as a real estate broker and instructor at National University, Powell has touted his business experience as an asset he’ll use to get the district’s finances in order.

Jared Hamilton owns a clothing store in La Jolla and said he as running to protect and resurrect programs that meant a lot to him as a San Diego Unified student – like sixth grade camp and music and theater programs in schools.

District residents weigh in with their choice for their board representative during the primary and each district’s top two vote getters go on to a citywide vote in November.

That leaves the race for the Sub District E seat unchanged.

William Ponder and Marne Foster will faceoff again in November for that seat representing southeast San Diego neighborhoods like Skyline, Paradise Hills and parts of City Heights. It’s the board’s only open seat and has been held for the last eight years by Sheila Jackson, who is stepping down. Tuesday Foster led early with 62 percent of the vote compared with Ponder's 38 percent.

Foster is an instructor and administrator for the San Diego Community College District in the continuing education school. Foster has four children who attended or still do attend San Diego Unified schools. Foster said she is uniquely qualified because of her work and experience advocating for her own children to improve academic achievement.

Ponder is a former college administrator who taught in San Diego schools and worked for the U.S. Department of Education in San Diego. He sits on a committee that is exploring ways to generate revenue with the district’s excess property. Those experiences set him up to correct the district’s finances, according to the candidate.

Richard Barrera is running unopposed for re-election to represent downtown, Barrio Logan and the neighborhoods surrounding Balboa Park in the Sub District D seat.

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