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Incumbents reign on school board

Gregory Bragg comes up short again in bid for Burbank Unified position.

February 23, 2011|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

All three Burbank Unified school board members won re-election on Tuesday, with the two-time challenger again failing to garner enough votes.

The election marks the second time entertainment executive Gregory Bragg has been the sole challenger in a race of incumbents. In 2009, the father of three ran unsuccessfully against school board members Debbie Kukta and Larry Applebaum, who also won outright in the primary election.

Incumbent Dave Kemp led the field with 5,041 votes, with colleagues Roberta Reynolds and Ted Bunch garnering 4,491 and 4,373 votes, respectively.

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"This shows the community has the trust and faith in us to continue working for another four years," Reynolds said.

Bragg received 3,318 votes, according to the Burbank city clerk's office.

On election day, Bunch said he and his incumbent colleagues were proud of their record, adding that they used their long-standing reputations in the community to campaign.

"The three of us who are incumbents did a much more low-key type of campaign," Bunch said. "You have 'incumbent' on your ballot, so that usually gives you a leg up on other people, unless people are mad at you for some reason."

Bragg had campaigned on a platform of fresh blood, arguing that the school board needed a new face and set of ideas. With children enrolled in local schools, he added that he represented Burbank Unified parents, as well as the local business community.

He has stated repeatedly during the campaign that current board members were too complacent.

"There is a sense of entitlement there that I don't agree with," Bragg said.

The incumbents countered that stability on the school board was important as the district faces yet another significant budget hurdle in the coming fiscal year. They added that Bragg's campaign proposals brought nothing new to the discussion.

"Everything that he brought up we are already doing, or know is out there … We have a lot of good corporate sponsorships in the city, and our business partners are very helpful to the school district," Bunch said. "All of those things are being done."

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