Jackie Goldberg Campaign Photo

Former state assembly member Jackie Goldberg is headed back to the L.A. school board, based on unofficial results from today's District 5 school board election.

Goldberg maintained a commanding lead all night long over former mayoral aide Heather Repenning as ballots were counted.

With all precincts reporting, Goldberg garnered 71.62% of the vote compared to Repenning's 28.38%, according to preliminary results. The vote must still be certified by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Goldberg, who served on the school board during the 1980s, will rejoin the seven-member board charting the future of the nation’s second largest school district with more than 500,000 children, mostly from low-income families.

District 5 covers Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock and City Terrace in the northeast, and southeast cities of Huntington Park, Bell South Gate, Vernon, Maywood, Cudahy. 

Goldberg garnered the most votes by far during the March primary. She came close but failed to win at least 50% of the vote, setting the stage for the May 14 runoff against second-placer vote getter Repenning.

The district is facing a tough time with divisions over the fate of charter schools, a controversial effort to reorganize the district and serious financial challenges. Despite strides toward improving graduation rates, less than half of the district’s graduating class are eligible for the state’s public universities, according to LA School Report.

Both candidates favored changes to state law giving LAUSD more say in turning down new charter school applications and other curbs on charter growth, according to LAist, which has a good run down of the candidates. But Repenning is more moderate in her approach to dealing with charter schools than Goldberg.

Goldberg, 74, lives in Echo Park, served on the LA City Council (1994-2000), LAUSD as a board member (1983-1991) and was a state assemblywoman (2000-2006). She was endorsed by the teachers' union. She had pushed to get appointed to the seat that was vacated last year by Ref Rodriguez, who plead guilty to charges related to illegal campaign fundraising, but the board sought a special election instead. She fell two percent points below the needed majority to win the primary.

Repenning, 44, lives in Los Feliz, was a longtime aide to Mayor Eric Garcetti and formerly sat as vice president on the city’s public works commission. She has an elementary age daughter at an LAUSD school and would have been the only school board member with a child in the district. She was endorsed by the LA Times. She beat out Huntington Park Mayor Graciela Ortiz in the primaries, winning 13 percent of the vote by 31 votes.

Goldberg will sit on the board for a relatively short period of time, completing Rodriguez' term, which expires in December 2020.

Updated with results from 10:53 pm

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