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It's official: LaConte, Mowbray and Keith will return

Claremont Unified School District incumbent Hilary LaConte will begin her 2nd term on the school board and former board member Sam Mowbray will make his return to the board after 6 years away from CUSD this December.

The unofficial CUSD election race results on Tuesday featured Ms. LaConte leading the way with 3123 votes (43.13 percent) followed by Mr. Mowbray with 2630 votes (36.32 percent) and Joe Farrell earning 1488 votes (20.55 percent). Preliminary numbers from absentee ballots predicted the result as Ms. LaConte was ahead from the beginning with 1411 out of the first 3301 counted votes.

“Now we can plan and move forward,” Ms. LaConte told the COURIER on Tuesday. “There's lots to do and I'm thankful for all of the great support. It's [the campaign] has been enlightening and I've appreciated the questions and the conversations. It's been a good reminder of how important it is to get out and talk to the community. I've heard some great suggestions and great ideas.”

This year's election was for 2 open seats due to the expiring terms of Ms. LaConte and current CUSD Board President Beth Bingham. Ms. Bingham chose not to run for re-election.

Mr. Mowbray considered this year's election different than when he last ran in 2001. He pointed out the rising costs of running a campaign and the importance of electronic media as examples of differences.

Yet Mr. Mowbray found that he had retained many of the supporters who were involved in his former campaigns.

“It's really funny but there's been people who have walked with me since the 1990s,” Mr. Mowbray said. “Vince and Gaynell Ventura, who have been supporters in the past, had been walking the neighborhoods with me. I think younger people are very busy and many just don't have the time to do this.”

Mr. Farrell found the last few months to be a learning experience through several “listening tours” he took during his campaign. Even in defeat, the Claremont resident was thrilled to represent a segment of the community concerned about interdistrict transfers and other issues concerning the district.

“I really believe, win or lose, I was able to give a voice to folks who may not have had one,” Mr. Farrell said. “I've been hearing what folks have been saying and that shaped my message because they determine what's important or not important. All of my supporters have worked hard. And anybody who would believe in somebody who has only been here for 15 months—that's an honor to me.”

Citrus College board incumbent Sue Keith received 3328 votes (76.17 percent) on Tuesday to defeat Claremont resident Tracy Rickman (1041 votes, 23.83 percent) in the Citrus College Area 2 board race. Ms. Keith will now enter her 4th term on the board.

—Landus Rigsby

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