Two SUSD school board members recalled - Tucson News Now

Two SUSD school board members recalled

Posted: Updated:
Sunnyside school board members celebrate a recall election victory. Sunnyside school board members celebrate a recall election victory.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Sunnyside Unified School District incumbent board members Louie Gonzales and Bobby Garcia were unsuccessful in their fight to save their seats tonight after a successful recall petition drive by citizens who wanted them out.

Voters had until 7 p.m. to turn in their ballots in the mail-in only election.

Rebecca Quintero will fulfill the rest of Bobby Garcia's term after obtaining 58 percent of the vote on Tuesday night, compared to Garcia's 22 percent.

Eric Giffin earned 75 percent of the votes over Louie Gonzales, who has been in office for more than a decade. Giffin will also take over Gonzales' seat.

It was a festive atmosphere at the China Bay restaurant on the south side on Tuesday night, where both incumbents celebrated.

Both of them decided to run because they said they were not happy with the way things were going in the district under Superintendant Dr. Manuel Isquierdo's leadership. This recall effort started when three of the board members voted to keep Isquierdo as the district's leader.

The big question everyone has been asking tonight is will this new school board vote to keep Dr. Isquierdo or buy out his contract?

"I don't want to give him any more money than he's making. $525,000 is a lot. It's money that should go to the kids," Rebecca Quintero said.

Ken Giffin said he has other priorities: "Mainly to reverse the damage he's been doing," he said.

The special election victory came after months of gathering petitions to recall the incumbents. 

Ken Giffin is no stranger to school board politics. He served on the board for several years then decided not to run in 2010.

Quintero is a newcomer. She says she's ready for the challenge.

SUSD Superintendent Dr. Manuel Isquierdo did not comment tonight, but in a special meeting held last Friday, he addressed the board and the community and gave his thoughts on this special election and what it would mean for him.

"'I'll be honest: if my supporters lose, I don't want to be here. I don't want to go back to pencils and papers and what I believe is way of doing things in old south side of Tucson."

Tucson News Now reached out to incumbents Bobby Garcia and Louie Gonzales for a comment. Neither returned our calls.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will have to certify these election results before the new board members get into their seats, which is expected to be in early June. They will serve out the remainder of the incumbent's terms.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow