Steve Zimmer Concedes to Nick Melvoin in Highly Contested Election for LAUSD Board President

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L.A. Unified School Board candidate Nick Melvoin is congratulated by supporters Tuesday night. (Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Unified School District appeared to have undergone a major political shift Tuesday night, as the curtain dropped on what has been the most expensive school board election in the nation’s history.

Less than two hours after polls closed, with many ballots left to be counted, the president of the school board, Steve Zimmer, conceded the race. Addressing a crowd of supporters, Zimmer called his loss to candidate Nick Melvoin “devastating” and vowed never to run for office again. In a sign of how deeply polarizing this election has been, and how difficult it will be to forge consensus in the weeks and months to come, Zimmer said he would not call Melvoin.

“I may have lost an election … but my soul is intact,” he said. Of his opponent’s supporters, he added darkly: “They know what they did.”

From the moment the candidates filed to run for the Los Angeles Board of Education, the election has been a proxy war between wealthy charter school advocates and public employee unions. Charter supporters seemed poised early Wednesday morning to secure their first-ever majority on the seven-member Los Angeles Board of Education.

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