CUSD special election set for July 25

by Mick Rhodes |

The special election to fill the vacant seat on Claremont Unified School District’s Board of Education will take place Tuesday, July 25.

The election, which will cost CUSD an estimated $273,000, was triggered by just 99 Trustee Area 4 voters through a petition spearheaded by Joshua Rogers.

Thus far, the only candidate who has stepped forward is Alex McDonald, a physician and educator.

“I am preparing now to run a serious campaign by meeting with residents of Trustee Area 4 as well as other citywide residents to learn about issues that concern them,” McDonald told the board of education in February.

The seeds for the special election were sown when former CUSD Board of Education President Steven Llanusa resigned under pressure on December 10, 2022 after public and board outcry stemming from alleged impropriety at a holiday party at his Claraboya home a week prior.

The board appointed former member Hilary LaConte on January 18. A petition drive to force the district to instead hold an election, spearheaded by Rogers, began gathering steam shortly thereafter.

On February 9, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Llanusa and two other people in connection with the party. Llanusa, 62, was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and a single count of providing alcohol to a minor under 21.

Finally, on March 1 the Los Angeles Department of Education notified CUSD that the petition had 102 valid signatures, three more than the required 99, immediately ending LaConte’s board appointment and compelling the special election.

Llanusa and the other two defendants are due to be arraigned in Pomona Superior Court on Thursday, March 30.


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