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LACCD RACE TOO CLOSE TO CALL AS BURNS HAS RAZOR-THIN LEAD.



Byline: SUSAN ABRAM

Staff Writer

The contest for the Los Angeles Community College District The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is the community college district serving Los Angeles, California and some of its neighboring cities. In addition to typical college aged students, the LACCD also serves adults of all ages.  board of trustees board of trustees Politics The posse of thugs who oversee an institution's administration. See Board of directors.  seat remained too close to call Wednesday, with fewer than 100 votes separating the two candidates and 10,600 ballots left to count, election officials said.

The tally so far gives political newcomer Roy Burns a razor-thin margin over incumbent Georgia Mercer -- 88 votes out of over 115,000 cast.

While acknowledging he was in no position to declare victory, Burns said he was confident about the results.

"I'm not ready to declare victory, but I'm extremely confident that this side will win," said Burns, a retired sheriff's deputy who also teachers.

Mercer did not return phone calls.

The City Clerk's Office has three weeks to certify the election.

Within that time, votes cast by mail, provisional ballots, and ballots that may have been damaged and could not be scanned, will be counted. After a winner is officially announced, a candidate or any registered voter has five days to request a recount, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the city's election codes.

Some political analysts said Burns' strong support could have been due to a mood among voters to change the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. .

Mercer, who lives in Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities. , is a former teacher at the Los Angeles School The Los Angeles School of Urbanism is an academic movement emerged during the mid-1980s, loosely based at the University of Southern California and UCLA, that poses a challenge to the dominant Chicago School of Urbanism.  District's Danube Elementary School elementary school: see school.  in Granada Hills. She also has been a public-relations director for Planned Parenthood's Los Angeles branch.

Burns teaches criminal justice at College of the Canyons College of the Canyons is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the state. According to the National Junior College Research Association, College of the Canyons consistently ranks in the top 50 community colleges in the nation.  in Valencia. He enlisted in the Marines after graduating from Cleveland High School in Reseda and served in the Vietnam War Vietnam War, conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. .

"I do believe, that when it comes down to it, people want change," said Rick Taylor, a political consultant for Dakota Communications. "And it has nothing to do with the seat but with a trust in law enforcement, and that triggered it."

Taylor said the 6 percent of registered voters who turned out were likely conservative. Burns ran on a Republican ticket, though the board of trustees is a nonpartisan entity.

"It makes you wonder because these are the kinds of boards that no one really knows what the heck (the trustees) are doing," Taylor said.

But these boards also prove to be launching pads for long-standing careers in politics. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich Michael Dennis Antonovich (born 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing the Fifth District, which covers northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and parts of the San Fernando and San  and California state Attorney General Jerry Brown both began their careers by serving on the Los Angeles Community College District board, Taylor said.

Mercer, a political veteran who has served on the board of trustees since 1998, was forced into a runoff with Burns, who was the top vote-getter among three challengers in the March primary.

In that election, Mercer received 46 percent and Burns got 32 percent of the vote. Mercer and Burns had each said they were disappointed they didn't capture more than 50 percent of the vote, which would have averted a runoff.

Burns said he believes he garnered a large chunk of the votes because of the messages he presented, including holding the board accountable for how voter-approved bond money was spent.

He said his background as a teacher and career in law enforcement may have resonated with voters.

"First of all, I'm a teacher, and I'm trying to stay in a profession in which the board of trustees oversees," Burns said. "Next, I believe law enforcement is a respectable career, and I think that resonated with the voters."

And whether he can formally declare victory or not, Burns said this election has likely shaken the board's sense of comfort.

"I think this election opened their eyes, that this is not just going to be a quiet race every two years, and that there are going to be qualified candidates challenging the board of trustees," Burns said. "That challenge creates better leadership."

susan.abram(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3664

CAPTION(S):

3 boxes

Box:

(1) LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)  Board of Education

(2) Los Angeles Community College District

(3) State Assembly
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 17, 2007
Words:650
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