School board candidate John Lee Evans was unruffled despite dismal early numbers from absentee voters, who heavily favored his opponent, incumbent Mitz Lee, with 61 percent of the absentee vote. Like Lee, Evans described the primary as merely a prelude to the November general election. Because Evans and Lee are the only two candidates in District A, both will automatically advance to the general election.

“This race is going to be the race to watch, in terms of the vote for change on the school board,” Evans said as election results streamed down screens in Golden Hall.

The two other school board races are less competitive, he said. “Shelia Jackson is a very strong incumbent. Richard Barrera is unopposed. This race will determine if people want change,” Evans said.

Evans supporters at Golden Hall were similarly unbothered by the numbers.

“This is just a dress rehearsal!” said retired teacher Judy Ki, who was carrying a sign for Democratic congressional candidate Mike Lumpkin.

The apparent tilt toward Lee didn’t surprise campaign volunteer Don Parcher, who opined that Evans would garner more of the vote in the citywide election.

“The city is more Democratic,” he said. “But the incumbent has a natural advantage. People see ‘school board member’ on a ballot, and they just vote for the incumbent.”


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