James R. Trainor defeated Robert A. Kehne II Tuesday to win a vacant seat on the Rosemead School District’s governing board.
“I’ve found out I’ve got a lot of friends,” said Trainor, who serves on three Rosemead Parent-Teacher Assn. boards and has been a volunteer baseball and basketball coach at district schools for about 12 years. Trainor manages inventory control of materials for AT & T.
Kehne called himself “a new face for residents” and said he got a late start. But he said he plans to start campaigning immediately for an election in November, when three seats on the board will be at stake. Kehne is vice president of a metal-manufacturing firm and has been a baseball coach with the Rosemead Youth Assn.
Voters favored Trainor, 371 to 175. An additional 14 people voted, but their ballots were not processed because of unspecified problems. A spokeswoman for the county registrar-recorder said the ballots may have been unintentionally damaged, but that the reason will not be learned until the official canvass.
A total of 560 people, just over 6% of the district’s registered voters, cast ballots.
Trainor will serve the remaining three years of former board member Rene Laverde’s term.
The county Office of Education in November ordered the district, which has five schools, to hold the special election after Laverde did not return from a study trip to Africa.
Laverde left last summer, and occasionally wrote to say he was staying longer than expected, said Marie Ortiz, who was president of the board until December. Laverde, a full-time college student, also wrote asking her for board meeting agendas, she said.
“We thought he would be gone a month or two,” Ortiz said, adding that the district tried unsuccessfully to contact him several times.
The district received a letter of resignation from Laverde in November, but by then the county had declared the seat vacant, Ortiz said. She said she believed he is studying in a South African university.
SCHOOL BOARD 7 of 7 precincts, 6.4% turnout
Vote % James R. Trainor 371 67.9 Robert A. Kehne II 175 32.1