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Board hopefuls eye Tuesday

Molly Shore

As the school board campaign winds its way to Tuesday’s general

election, four candidates are busy shaking voters’ hands and

appearing on the coffee klatch circuit.


Businessman Larry Applebaum, retired teacher Ted Bunch, attorney

Paul Krekorian and real-estate agent Mike McDonald are on the stump,

each hoping to amass enough votes to win one of two open seats on the

school board.


Retired Burbank High School teacher Dave Kemp is the only

candidate in a starting field of 15 to win one of the three school

board seats in the Feb. 15 primary. Incumbents Elena Hubbell and

Richard Raad lost in their bids to return to the board, which had

come under fire from some residents upset by the group’s handling of

the budget deficit and the dismissal of former Supt. David Aponik.

Applebaum, who received 29.6% of the primary vote, said it is

easier to reach some people now that their candidates are no longer


in the running.

“Previously when we phone-banked people, they said that they

weren’t supporting me. Now they’re willing to find out more about

me,” Applebaum said.

Bunch qualified for the runoff with 28.7% of the vote, and is

optimistic about his chances of winning. However, he was not endorsed

by the Burbank Teachers’ Assn., which backed Applebaum, Kemp and

Krekorian, the top three vote-getters.


“There are three possible scenarios,” Bunch said. “One, the

competition blows me away; two, I blow the competition away; or three

and probably most likely, it’s going to be a close election.”

Running for office this time is different for Krekorian, who

received 38.7% of the primary vote. He campaigned unsuccessfully for

state assembly three years ago.

“This time it’s a lot more personal,” Krekorian said. “People in

Burbank are so much more aware of the issues that affect our


But Krekorian admits that less attention might be paid to the

election this time around, since two of the three incumbents have

lost their reelection bid.

Incumbent Mike McDonald, fighting an uphill battle in his third

try for office, admitted that in this campaign the teachers’ union is

a formidable foe.

From his years playing football, McDonald said he lost some of his

vision and hearing. Now, he quipped, friends are telling him that he

surely must have lost his mind to be running again.