Reluctant Candidate Will Take Board Seat

From Times Staff Reports

John Ortega, a newly elected trustee in the Orange Unified School District who tried but failed to pull his name off the ballot, said Friday he will accept the job.

Ortega, a deputy sheriff who is on workers' compensation leave, said he tried to withdraw from Tuesday's recall election for family reasons. He did not elaborate.

He was too late to get his name taken off the ballot. He won even though he did not campaign.

The new trustee, who grew up in Orange and graduated from Villa Park High School, did not reveal his plans until Friday after the county registrar of voters certified the election, making it official that three conservative board members had been recalled. They were replaced by candidates more sympathetic to the district's teachers union.

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