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Coalition Sweeps Newcomers onto School Board

In Areas 1, 6 and 7, Tony Perez, Steve Ly and Carmine Forcina were elected to the Elk Grove school board.

Incumbents were defeated in two separate Elk Grove school board races Tuesday, but the challengers aren't taking all the credit.

Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education candidates Tony Perez, Steve Ly and Carmine Forcina formed a coalition weeks ago, and shared resources and volunteers throughout the campaign cycle. All three were victorious on election night.

"Steve and I in particular utilized the resources of our volunteers to maximize our efforts," Forcina said at an election night party at Ly's home. "We were able to reach more homes than either could have reached on our own."

Forcina and Ly defeated incumbents Al Rowlett in Area 7 and Jake Rambo in Area 6, respectively. Forcina captured 41 percent of the vote compared to Rowlett's 31, while Ly received 67 percent of the vote compard to Rambo's 33 percent.

Perez, one of three candidates running for an open seat in Area 1, captured 46 percent of the vote. Susan Parvis, who had been endorsed by retiring Trustee Bill Lugg, came in second place with 31 percent of the vote.

All three candidates endorsed by the Sacramento Bee were defeated Tuesday.

Ly and Forcina said voters they spoke to were displeased with the current school board.

"People were not happy with the decisions the board was making, [and] felt they weren't included in the decisions," Forcina said.

Ly said voters told him they feel they've been overlooked.

"[Our election] sends a clear message to the school board that the constituency wants to engage in the conversation about what happens in Elk Grove's school board," Ly said.

He and Forcina said they want to work with the existing school board, but also hope to increase the amount of engagement with community members by holding "area meetings" at schools around the district.

"One school board member cannot do anything [alone]," Ly said.

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