Southwestern College, the Sweetwater Union High School District, and the Chula Vista Elementary School District, all located in the South Bay, have several school-board seats up for grabs in a few days. The level of campaign contributions received by candidates at Southwestern and Sweetwater is considerably higher than the contributions in the elementary school district. Could it be because of bond money?
Southwestern College is currently spending $389 million of Proposition R funds approved in 2008 and $120 million that remains from Proposition AA, approved in 2006.
One of the most contested races in the Southwestern College district is between Yolanda Salcido, the president of the board, and Norma Hernandez, former president of the college. In Salcido’s most recent campaign-donation filing (covering the period of October 1–16), Seville Construction Services, the company managing Southwestern’s bond money, donated $7500. The majority of the $57,250 picked up in this period is from contractors or is contractor-related. Salcido has received a total of $102,598.
Salcido’s opponent, Hernandez, received no donations from contractors in the last filing period. Her two largest donors during the first half of October were Pacific Spanish Network, which gave $5000, and San Diego PAC, which gave $2000. She has received a total of $40,001.51.
Voters approved Proposition O in 2006, which gave Sweetwater Union High School District $644 million to use for construction and reconstruction. Incumbent Sweetwater boardmember Jim Cartmill and Karen Janney, a retired educator, are waging a fierce battle.
The Seville Group Inc., which is managing the Prop O construction, gave Cartmill $20,000 on October 2. Most of the $34,884 collected in this period came from contractors. Cartmill’s total to date is $85,970.
Cartmill’s opponent, Janney, has altogether $40,638. No contractor donations are listed in her latest filing. The majority of her donations were for $100. Her highest donation was $5,625.46, from the Sweetwater Education Association PAC.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District is not working with any bond money. The Union-Tribune reported on October 18 that “incumbents Larry Cunningham, Douglas Luffborough and Pamela Smith — who are running as a team — have collected a total of $7,000.” The same article reported that Nick Segura, the challenger with the most campaign donations, had raised “nearly $5,000.”
Pictured: Jim Cartmill