Smith, Walker Defeat Challenger

Incumbents re-elected to another term.

Written by SOPHIA CHANG / Published November 6, 2009

Matt Smith and Joe Walker are the winners of the November 3, 2009 Temple City school board election.

Smith received 1242 votes, or 39 percent, Walker got 1058 votes, or 36.8 percent, and Kenneth Knollenberg received 704 votes, or 24.3 percent. These results are semi-official and was updated at 2 p.m. today.

“I will do the best I can, and thank you!” Walker posted on his Facebook account Wednesday. Walker stated he was “humbled and honored” for voters’ support for his re-election.

“I think that the message from the community was clear and unequivocal,” wrote Smith in a statement to the Temple City Voice, “…the community is pleased with the direction that the Temple City Unified School District has been going in and does not want to risk having a school board controlled or beholden to the same select few recurring leaders of the teachers’ union.”

He continued, “The community and I respect and support the work of teachers but we also want a fair, impartial and independent school board…That’s what I feel that I uniquely brought to the table during this election…”

“I also sincerely hope that we (everyone) can all move forward together in tackling the truly important issues in our district,” Smith concluded.

Incumbent and School Board Clerk Smith was seeking a third term on the school board. Smith was appointed to the school board in 1998, and was elected to his first full term in 2001.

He had been endorsed by numerous city and district officials, including three city councilmembers and two school boardmembers. He had also secured the support of community and business leaders.

Walker, who ran as a slate with challenger Knollenberg, was first elected to the school board in 2005.

Both Walker and Knollenberg were endorsed by the Temple City Education Association (TCEA), the local teachers’ union, and the California School Employees Association.

In addition, both Walker and Smith were endorsed by the Pasadena Star News in an October 25 editorial.

According to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters, the semi-official voter turnout in L.A. County was 11.75 percent.

The semi-official voter turnout for the city of Temple City was 10.8 percent, up from two years ago, and 11.6 percent for voters within the Temple City Unified School District, a decrease from two years ago.

“I am surprised that there was an increase of voter participation within the city of Temple City” says Matthew Wong, founder of the Temple City Voice. “I was expecting a decrease, but nevertheless, I am happy that more voters cared enough to participate this time around.”

UPDATE: The published article does not include Friday’s updated tally; this online article does.


School Board Election Statistics
Temple City Voice graphic



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