20-year-old Princeton student wins seat on La Cañada school board

Though he’s two months shy of the legal drinking age, Princeton University junior Andrew Blumenfeld has been elected to the second and final open seat on the La Cañada Unified school board.

Los Angeles County election officials posted updated election results from the Nov. 8 race Friday afternoon, with Blumenfeld gathering 1,835 votes to incumbent Jeanne Broberg's 1,825.

There are no more ballots to be counted, making the most recent count decisive, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder spokeswoman Marcia Ventura said.

“I am a cautiously thrilled, and I am excited to get started,” Blumenfeld said. “I wish we could have known more definitively on Nov. 8. We could have already gotten 10 days of work done.”

Broberg held the second-place position by a dozen votes as the unofficial tally closed election night, but that lead melted away as provisional, mail-in and write-in ballots were added to the candidates’ totals. The updated counts did not change the outcome for the top vote-getter, Ellen Multari, or Ernest Koeppen, who trailed the field in fourth. Multari and Koeppen received 2,109 and 984 votes, respectively.

“Every vote counts,” Blumenfeld said of the final tally.

Voter participation was about 30%, according to Ventura, a notable increase from the 25% participation in the 2009 school board election.

The tally is scheduled to be certified Monday, and declared official by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors the following day. Multari and Blumenfeld are scheduled to be sworn into office at the school board meeting on Dec. 6.

Broberg, who has served three terms on the board, did not return calls seeking comment.

Outgoing school board member and Blumenfeld campaign chair Cindy Wilcox, who announced in March that she would not seek reelection, said she was pleased with the outcome.

“I am thrilled to be replaced by Andrew Blumenfeld,” Wilcox said, speaking via phone from the county’s Norwalk election offices. “I think the kids and the schools will be well served. I think this is a great opportunity for the board to rethink its role in governing the schools.”

Blumenfeld’s win confirms that his campaign message of returning the focus of the schools to students resonated with the voters of La Cañada Flintridge, he said.

“We increased voter turnout quite significantly,” Blumenfeld said. “That is something I am proud of.”

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