Ryan Hagen, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/05/2011 03:54:22 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — A candidate for the San Bernardino City Unified School District board is losing faith in the county’s Democratic Central Committee, despite getting its endorsement.

“It’s an embarrassment to the central committee for them to be going back and forth like this,” school board member Elsa Valdez said Tuesday, when different committee members gave different accounts of whether they had endorsed her. “They’ve handled this badly from the very beginning, and I’m still confused.

“If the central committee can’t even do a simple endorsement, then what can we do when they get engaged in a major race?”

A series of mistakes by the central committee led to the on-again, off-again endorsement, said its chairman Ron Wall.

But Wall cautioned that the committee still could request a meeting to take back that endorsement — as they did when they took the unprecedented step of withdrawing Teresa Parra Craig’s endorsement for the San Bernardino City Unified School District last week.

Both women are incumbents.

That move was based on Parra Craig’s perceived “unprofessional” conduct at meetings — arguing with union leaders — and a recent vote.

Valdez, who along with the rest of the board voted the same way — hiring temporary workers to fill some jobs — says the party doesn’t understand the issue.

Wall said the party stands by labor unions, who oppose the vote, and flaws in the endorsement procedure were fixed.

“I think if we hadn’t corrected it, that would have lowered the credibility, but I think the fact that we were able to recognize an error and correct it actually raises it,” he said. “I think in the excitement of the elections, people didn’t read the bylaws all the way through and were making interpretations based on a partial understanding of the bylaws.”

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