Capistrano Unified school board contest turns up the heat

MaryAnne Shults

In a passionately contested election, it may be too soon to call who will win the four open seats on the CUSD board of trustees.

Early returns showed leads for Jack Brick, Sue Palazzo, Ken Maddox and Mike Winsten–the candidates supported by the Recall Committee parent group–over those supported by the teacher’s union.

As of 12:44 a.m., with 78.4 percent of precincts reporting, Jack Brick only holds a 3.2-point lead over the union-backed opponent and CUSD PTSA Council Legislative Chairperson, Erin Kutnick. Brick has secured 51.6 percent of the votes.

Palazzo holds a stronger lead with 59.1 percent of the votes. The 26-year San Juan Capistrano resident was recently elected to the board of trustees following the recall subsequent special election this past spring. Her opponent, Andrea Kooiman, holds a focus on school equality and dedication to the students with afterschool activities and promotion and support of school volunteers.

Winsten, an attorney, has secured 65.7 percent of the votes, no doubt securing a lead over incumbent Duane Stiff.

An incumbent since the special election three months ago, Maddox has 55.9 percent of the votes over retired teacher Gary Miller.

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