Ongoing board election results oust incumbent trustee

Briana Hicks

While people were heavily focused on the national election, the incumbents for board of trustees were focusing on their own election results.

Tuesday, November 8th the race to fill open seats for board of trustees took off as expected.

Trustee members Bob Arthur, area 1, Carmen Avalos, area 2, Marissa Perez, area 4 and Sandra Salazar, area 6, held the leads for their areas.

Arthur, who was in the lead by 7.42 percent, was initially the projected candidate to be reelected. But, with a turn of events, he began losing to his opponent Martha Camacho-Rodriguez by 26.83 percent.

Over the summer Arthur attended the National Republican Convention as a delegate for Donald Trump. Throughout his campaign many concerns were raised about his political views.

Since Camacho-Rodriguez has taken lead, Arthur has been trailing behind her in votes.

Camacho-Rodriguez expressed that this is her first time running for office.

“I feel honored to have earned the votes of residents in area 1 and I’m truly humbled by the fact that the voters believed in me and my message and chose to give me an opportunity,” she said.

She acknowledged that she couldn’t take all the credit for her campaign success.

“A huge part of me [projected to win] this election [is] because I had an amazing team working with me. I ran a grass roots campaign and I was fortunate enough to have people who have worked on campaigns at all levels of government and they helped me get my message across.”

When asked to comment regarding his projected loss for area 1, Arthur declined to comment.

Unlike her fellow incumbent, Avalos came out the gate with an enormous lead over her opponents.

Throughout the projected results, she has maintained her lead to win area 2 for the second year in a row.

Avalos admitted that she is excited that people trust her to continue on with the good work that they’ve done at the college and that it’s a good thing to know that people support what she’s done.

She said, “I feel [what] was helpful is that I connected with the voters, and that everybody thought I was doing a good job. That was a constant feedback.”

Just like Avalos, area 4 incumbent Perez also began her race with a strong and unwavering lead of 34.72 percent.

She expressed that she is pleased that she is projected to be re-elected for a second term of service on the board.

“Since I became a board member, I have been very active in our community representing Cerritos College. My goal has been and continues to be community engagement, and improved student success.

“I believe this commitment was recognized and acknowledged by the voters in Lakewood, Bellflower, Hawaiian Gardens, Cerritos and Long Beach. […] I congratulate all the candidates in the Cerritos College district for running for the Board of Trustees and their commitment to serve our students,” she said.

Area 6 incumbent Salazar, who followed the lead of her fellow incumbents, is projected to win over her opponent as well.

Salazar admitted that she is grateful for the confidence that was placed in her.

“We campaigned with honesty, integrity, and more importantly we campaigned with a shared vision about what we’d like to see [the school] be in the future,” she said.

In light of protests happening around the United States due to Donald Trump being elected as the new president, Salazar expressed that she wanted to speak decisively about the election results.

“In the aftermath of one of the most painful and divisive presidential races ever, I hope we can move past personal attacks, division and pettiness. Let us be better than that. Let us move forward, make a new start and move forward to meet the great challenges we face as community.”

Although Camacho-Rodriguez, Avalos, Perez, and Salazar have taken a strong lead over their areas, the election results won’t be final until 30 days after the national election.