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The 2008 race to replace school board member Mitz Lee, who is running for City Council, now appears to be taking shape. Former Republican political consultant Scott Barnett, now president of TaxpayersAdvocate.org, said he has formed a committee to raise money for the campaign.

A former Del Mar city councilman and the head of Peter Q. Davis’ 2004 mayoral campaign, Barnett said he made the decision to run only recently.

“A month ago, I think it’s fair to say the last thing I thought I would do in the near future was running for any public office,” he said.

Barnett has two kids attending school in the San Diego Unified School District, and he recently served as president of his local PTA.

He said his No.1 priority is to raise pay for San Diego teachers, who have ranked at the bottom in a countywide compensation study.

“The other issue is the overall size and dysfunction of the administration of this very large district,” he said.

Barnett believes the current school board has not kept Superintendent Carl Cohn accountable and that the district has broken its 1998 promise to fully fund maintenance of the district’s facilities.

Another name that has emerged in the discussion about the race is that of Poway clinical psychologist John Lee Evans. Evans’ website currently says he is planning a run for Congress in 2008 against Brian Bilbray. Evans is a Democrat.

His secretary said Evans was with a patient this morning and unavailable. I’ll post an update as soon as I hear back from him.

Update: Barnett just e-mailed me to say that he is no longer the president of the PTA at Doyle Elementary School.

VLADIMIR KOGAN

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