Charles W. Kim Jr., a last-minute contender for the San Diego Unified school board, failed to qualify for the ballot, gathering only 159 valid signatures. Two hundred signatures are required. His shortfall leaves labor organizer Richard Barrera the sole candidate in the race for incumbent Luis Acle’s seat.

Kim, a Republican attorney, joined the race last week after learning that Acle had failed to gather enough signatures, keeping his name off the ballot. Under the law, the deadline to register was extended five days after Acle failed to qualify. For Kim, that meant even less time, because news of Acle’s disqualification didn’t break until Sunday, and Kim couldn’t pick up registrar papers until Monday.

“If they hadn’t disqualified Acle until, say, [the following] Thursday, nobody could have put their name on the ballot at all,” Kim said. “The extension would be meaningless.”

Despite his frustration with the law, Kim said he wouldn’t contest the ruling, saying that the law itself was poorly worded, and would need to be changed by legislators — not a judge.


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