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UPDATE: Daniel Fierro Drops ABC School Board Campaign As Voters Begin Casting Ballots

ABC School Board candidate Daniel Fierro drops campaign with less than 30 days before the election is to be held on November 5th. Randy Economy Photo

ABC School Board candidate Daniel Fierro drops campaign with less than 30 days before the election is to be held on November 5th. Randy Economy Photo

UPDATED AT 1:45 p.m., Wednesday, October 2, 2013

By Brian Hews

Candidate Daniel Fierro has halted his campaign for a seat on the ABC Unified School District Board of Education in spite of voters already casting early vote-by-mail ballots for the election that is scheduled on Tuesday, November 5.

Fierro, who had raised more than $20,000 in campaign donations according to reports filed with the California Secretary of State, informed voters via email late Tuesday night about his decision to drop out of the campaign.

Fierro said that he has decided to enter the Army National Guard and will no longer be a resident of the ABC Unified School District.  State laws require that elected Governing Board Members to school and college district seats must reside within the district they are voted to represent.

Fierro is considered to be one of the front running candidates in next month’s campaign for three open seats on the ABC School Board.  Incumbent school board members Olympia Chen and Lynda Johnson are running aggressive reelection efforts as are businesswoman Soo Yoo and Deputy City Attorney Ethan Robinson.

In the email, Fierro tells voters, “when they entered the United States, my grandparents settled in this community so their children would have the best possible education. My mother has taught high school math in ABC schools for 32 years, and my two siblings and I all graduated from ABC schools.”

“ABC is home. That long-term commitment to this community is why I chose to run for the Board of Education in the November 5th election, and I’ve been humbled by the overwhelming support I’ve received. To serve you on the Board would be an honor,” he continued.

“Another honor I have is serving our country in the Army National Guard. In the last few days, I was informed of an assignment that would not allow me to reside in the ABC Unified School District for some time, and would not allow me to serve my full term, if elected,” he stressed.

“You deserve the best possible representation on your Board of Education because our children deserve the best our community can offer. In light of these new circumstances, I am suspending my campaign for the ABC Unified School District Board of Education, effective immediately. I will not continue to campaign knowing that I will not be able to serve the full term you have the right to expect. Although I am disappointed that I will not be able to continue this campaign, I am confident that this is the best decision for the district and my family,” he said.

“I owe a great deal of gratitude to my family, friends, and neighbors who have so generously given their support, time, and spirit. This community has a remarkable ability to select leaders worthy of the task, and I have no doubt the same will be true this November,” Fierro concluded.

Regina Ip, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office told HMG-CN in a written statement that Fierro will still be on the ballot. “Daniel Fierro drops out but cannot withdraw because the deadline was August 9. His name will remain on ballot and votes will be counted. If he wins, he can take the post or resign. If he resigns, the board can appoint someone or have an election to fill the seat.”

“As for the money he raised for his campaign, Fierro will have to either donate it or return it to those who contributed it to him. He will have to report what he does on California Fair Political Practices Commission forms by a deadline and submit it to our campaign finance section,” Ip said.