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Svonkin holds on to slight lead in L.A. Community College Board race [Updated]

May 17, 2011 |  9:51 pm

[Updated at 11:12 p.m.: Scott Svonkin, a senior advisor to L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, is holding on to a slight lead over schoolteacher Lydia A. Gutierrez late Tuesday night for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College District board.]

The race was dominated by questions about the district's $5.7 billion construction program. A Times series reported in February that tens of millions of dollars had gone to waste on the district's nine campuses because of poor planning and shoddy workmanship.

Both candidates promised to reform the program. Svonkin, 45, originally ran on a Democratic slate with incumbents Mona Field and Miguel Santiago. Most of the trustees, including Field and Santiago, had accepted donations from builders and others who received contracts from the board, the Times series showed.

Late in the campaign, the Los Angeles Democractic Central Committee tried to make Gutierrez's social conservatism an issue.  

Svonkin far outgunned Gutierrez in fund-raising. Since April 3, Svonkin's committees reported raising just over $299,000, including $220,000 from a single donor, the Los Angeles College Guild State PAC, a branch of the community college faculty union. Gutierrez's campaign reported receiving $3,788 in the same period.

RELATED:

Partisan rhetoric inflames college board race

Times investigation: How a $5.7-billion program to rebuild L.A. community colleges went astray

-- Gale Holland

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