Five file to run in California school board special election

Five candidates filed to run in the May 7 special election for the Area 5 seat on the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Education. The filing deadline was February 8.

The seat was originally vacated in August 2018 when Evan Morgan resigned his position following criminal charges that Morgan said he feared would distract from his work on the board. The Board of Education appointed Darrell Peeden to the seat in October 2018, but the community had 30 days following Peeden’s appointment to gather signatures from 1.5 percent of Trustee Area 5 voters—or 231 signatures—for an election to be called. Community members turned in 318 valid signatures. The appointment was overturned in December, and the special election was called.

Peeden was one of the five candidates who filed to run in the special election. He will be joined on the ballot by John Ashley, Patricia Vargas Sanchez, George Schoelles, and Keri Then.

This is the second such special election to be called in the school district this decade. In May 2013, the school district appointed Gary Baugh to a vacant at-large seat on the board. Following a similar petition drive, Baugh vacated the seat in June of that year and stood for election in November. He won the special election and served until 2018.