Local Politics

Tuesday, Nov 06 2012 10:44 PM

School board incumbents mostly retain seats in Bakersfield, Panama-Buena Vista

BY COURTENAY EDELHART Californian staff writer cedelhart@bakersfield.com

Incumbents generally kept their seats in the Bakersfield City and Panama-Buena Vista Union school districts Tuesday, though the latter will see new faces on its board of trustees.

In BCSD, Board of Trustees President Bill McDougle won a second four-year term after saying he wanted a chance to implement some of the things he had worked on over the last four years. With all precincts reporting, he had more than 56 percent of the vote to Ronnie Cruz's nearly 43 percent.

Retired Vice Principal McDougle will continue to represent central Bakersfield, having defeated Cruz, a railroad industry site supervisor who used to work for the Spanish-language newspaper El Popular.

In the race between therapist Valerie Munoz and retired Principal Fred Haynes, Haynes took more than 57 percent in his bid to succeed Rick Van Horne, whose seat became available when he moved out of the district. Haynes would represent parts of south and southwest Bakersfield.

Former BCSD school administrator Lillian Tafoya, who represents east Bakersfield, won a fifth term after running unopposed.

In Panama-Buena Vista, five candidates were vying for three seats in the new Trustee Area 2, which includes much of southwest Bakersfield.

Incumbent Linda Brenner held onto her seat with 19.56 percent of votes cast and all precincts reporting, while fellow board member Bruce Bair scored 15.27 percent — the fewest votes of all the candidates. Dean Haddock, a psychologist, took the most votes with 24.92 percent, followed by Dolores "Dee" Whitley (21.8 percent), a retired teacher and principal. Challenger David George, a retired teacher and principal had the next-to-least votes with 17.9 percent.

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