School board incumbent faces newcomer in June 8 election


By Stefan R. Garcia-Valentin


Although he pulled-off the June 8 primary, San Diego Unified School District Board Trustee John De Beck will have to defend his seat in November against an increasingly popular Scott Barnett.

De Beck said that he felt “threatened” by Barnett, who was endorsed by the San Diego Teacher’s Union in March. It was the first time that the union had not supported De Beck since he first ran in 1990.

Meanwhile, Barnett, who pointed out that 57 percent of voters in De Beck’s district want a new school board member, said, “I’m thrilled. It’s a real strong position (to be in) for November. This is his district, he’s represented them for 20 years, but people obviously want a change.”

Results of the primary showed that John De Beck and Scott Barnett defeated Michelle Crisci to face-off for a seat on the San Diego School Board of Education representing District C, which includes La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Mission Beach, Linda Vista and Ocean Beach. The candidates needed to receive 50 percent plus one votes to win without a run-off in the November general election.

Based on the updated count through June 11, with more than 123,000 absentee and provisional votes still being processed, De Beck topped the group with 42.95 percent of the vote; Barnett was second with 41.02 and Crisci trailed with 16.03 percent.

De Beck , who has been in education for more than 50 years, said he wants to stay on the school board to repay the community for the fine public education it gave him and his children.

Barnett said he looks forward to going head to head with De Beck. The budget analyst and former PTA president said he plans to continue to meet as many parents, teachers, administrators and district employees as possible before November.

“I fully admit I have much to learn about the needs of many of the individual schools in our district,” he said. “If elected, my goal is to reform the finances and management of city schools and return more funds to the classroom, where it belongs.”

In turn, the La Jolla Cluster Association, an organization formed by parents, teachers, school staff and other members of the community, wants to learn more from both candidates.

City News Service contributed to this report.