Dr. Ken Williams and Dr. Jack Bedell have each secured new terms as trustees on the Orange County Board of Education, which will welcome Tustin City Councilwoman Beckie Gomez as its newest member, according to election results certified this week by the county Registrar of Voters.
With all precincts accounted for in the June 7 election, Gomez, a Cypress College administrator, was the top vote-getter in Trustee Area 1, which serves Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, portions of Garden Grove and portions of Tustin. She finished with 33,906 votes, or 42.9 percent. Incumbent Robert Hammond came in second with 31,879 votes, or 40.4 percent, followed by Challenger Paul Zive, who had 13,199 votes.
In Trustee Area 3, which serves Brea, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Orange, Villa Park, Portola Hills, Yorba Linda, portions of Anaheim, portions of Lake Forest and portions of Tustin, Williams earned a sixth term with 47,005 votes, or 39.6 percent. Challenger Michael Parham had 39,671 votes, or 33.4 percent, and Margaret Brown finished with 31,985 votes.
Finally, Bedell secured a new term serving Trustee Area 4, which covers Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia and portions of Anaheim. Bedell won 37,725 votes, or 41.5 percent of the total. Challengers Chris Norby and Zonya Marcenaro-Townsend placed second and third, respectively, with 31,095 votes and 22,139 votes.
The Orange County Board of Education comprises five elected officials who each serve four-year terms. Their responsibilities include approving OCDE’s budget and receiving the department’s annual audit; maintaining an awareness of the operations and financial conditions of school districts throughout the county; approving the purchase of property for department programs; hearing and ruling on expulsion appeals, interdistrict attendance appeals and charter school appeals; representing Orange County’s education community and families at the local, county, state and national levels; and informing local communities about the programs and achievements of the Orange County Department of Education.
The Board of Education’s newly elected members are expected to be sworn in at the board’s next meeting on July 13. More information can be found here.