Southern California breaking news and trends

Republican advances to runoff in Valley Assembly race

Presidential Primary Election

Grant Slater/KPCC

The latest ballot results have Republican Jay Stern in the runoff for the 46th Assembly race.

By just 31 votes, Republican Jay Stern will be in the runoff for a San Fernando Valley state Assembly seat, according to the latest ballot results posted by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Stern finished the race for the Assembly’s 46th District with 8,399 votes – squeaking ahead of educator Brian Johnson who had 8,368. The registrar will certify the results on Monday. Candidates will then have five days to request a recount. It was not immediately clear whether the Johnson campaign would call for a recount.

Before running for office, Johnson was the executive director of the Larchmont Charter Schools. During the primary, pro-charter school groups spent $1.35 million on independent expenditures in support of Johnson. The California Teachers Association spent $400,000 to defeat him. 


Democrats fight over future of public education in San Fernando Valley Assembly race (updated)

Brian Johnson

Raphye Alexius/Johnson campaign

Brian Johnson ran charter schools before he decided to run for the state Assembly. He says that the California Teachers Association is now misrepresenting his views on education.

A candidate running for the state Assembly in the San Fernando Valley has asked the California Teachers Association to back off of claims that he wants to hand out school vouchers and privatize public schools.

Brian Johnson, who was the executive director of the Larchmont Charter Schools until he decided to run for office, is supported by more than $916,000 in independent expenditures from groups like EdVoice and Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First, which is operated by the former head of Washington, D.C. public schools, Michelle Rhee. Johnson has remained on staff at Larchmont Charter Schools as a senior academic officer.

The California Teachers Association has spent $151,000 on mailers, robo calls and Internet ads in opposition to Johnson. The union has backed Andrew Lachman in the race.