There are four candidates for an open seat on the Santa Ana Unified School Board and as the election will draw to a close Tuesday night (with light turnout of ballots by mail so far), all three candidates have some issues that voters must decide on. Three Democrats, one Republican. Winner take all.
Carolyn Torres, a teacher in Anaheim, is facing an issue where it appears someone using the phone of her longtime boyfriend called the mailing house used by opponent — and DPOC endorsed — David Benevides, pretending to be Benevides and asking questions about the number of mailings and the schedule for them. This is classic identity theft, and if in fact, Erick Carbajal did make the call to the mail house, charges ought to be filed.
The DA’s office hasn’t responded to a request for any news of an investigation into the matter and Torres has been silent.
Feeling outraged for Benevides? Don’t. The incident happened on October 9. His camp was pitching this story hard last weekend for what you might call an October surprise. If Benevides was that outraged, this should have come to light weeks ago and voters would have more time to evaluate the matter, facts to come out and character to be examined. So let’s call this decision to go public now an error of omission.
Cecilia Aquinaga, a frequent candidate for office in the city, is running with the support of the powerful Santa Ana Police Union. And Gisela Contreras is running with the full support of Republican Ceci Iglesias, who was easily the most anti-education school board member elected in Orange County before moving on to the City Council. If the three Democrats manage to cancel out each other, don’t be surprised if Santa Ana’s Republicans — who vote in every special election, come out and tip the scales for Contreras.