John Lee Evans has done the improbable.

The slim lead that Evans held over incumbent San Diego Unified school board member Mitz Lee in the wee hours Wednesday morning had widened by daybreak when all precincts were counted, with 54.35 percent of voters choosing Evans and 45.65 percent choosing Lee.

The race came down to fewer than 22,000 votes, with Evans garnering 136,121 votes and Lee winning 114,334 votes.

Evans’ victory marks a rare occasion: the unseating of an incumbent school board member — a feat Evans said has not been accomplished since 1979. (I did a quick review of online records from the county registrar that suggests that it has certainly not happened in the past 16 years.) It also marks a power shift on the San Diego Unified board that was deeply desired and lobbied for by the teachers union.

Evans joins incumbent Shelia Jackson, who trounced computer teacher Xeng Yang in her re-election bid, winning 61.74 percent of the vote to Yang’s 38.26 percent. She got 152,051 votes and Yang got 94,227. Another newcomer, Richard Barrera, ran unopposed and got 215,175 votes — and unsurprisingly that added up to 100 percent.


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