In a close race for Seat 4 on the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education, neither Delano Yarbrough nor Jacqueline Jacobs was able to capture more than 50% of the vote in Tuesday's municipal election, forcing a runoff in April.
Incumbent George Van Alstine, who ran unopposed, easily won Seat 2.
Three candidates vied for Seat 4, recently vacated by longtime member Elbie Hickambottom. Final results, minus 300 absentee ballots that remained to be counted, showed Jacobs leading by a scant 19 votes--45.9%, compared with Yarbrough's 45.8%.
Jacobs, 57, chairwoman of the life science department at Pasadena City College, said she was disappointed by the results.
"Of course I wanted to win and get it over with," said Jacobs, who would make history is she wins by becoming the first African American female board member. "I don't relish going through a runoff, but we are gathering new spirit and are off and running."
Yarbrough, a retired educator with 30 years of experience in the Pasadena Unified School District, pledged to provide "hope for education" in the district by fighting for policies that will increase student academic achievement and reduce violence on campuses.
"A runoff is not something I look forward to," Yarbrough said. "But I want to make schools more student-centered, develop a better guidance and counseling program, improve the working environment for staff members, and insist that district policies and practices are implemented in a fair and consistent manner. To do this I have to win."
Everett Baker, a newcomer to school board politics, garnered 8.5% of the votes for Seat 4.
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Pasadena Board of Education
(If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the two top finishers meet in a runoff.)
89 of 89 Precincts Reporting
* Denotes incumbents
CANDIDATE VOTE % George Van Alstine* 9,563 100%
CANDIDATE VOTE % Everett B. Baker 1,239 8.5 Jackie Jacobs 6,726 45.9 Delano Yarbrough 6,707 45.8