Political newcomer Irene Cepeda will join the Clark County School Board next year after an easy victory over embattled Clark County School District Trustee Kevin Child, making her one of two new faces to join the board.
“I’m really thankful the voters came out,” Cepeda said Tuesday evening. “We put in a lot of work, and it showed today.”
Cepeda received 68.9 percent of the vote as of 11:05 p.m., compared with 31.1 percent for Child for the District D seat. Child, who will finish his first term on the board, has a history of allegations of misconduct and harassment toward female employees.
In District F, Danielle Ford was defeating Kali Fox Miller with 60.2 percent of the vote as of 11:05 p.m., compared with 39.8 percent for Fox Miller.
In District G, Trustee Linda Cavazos was cruising to a victory over challenger Ryan Scalia. Cavazos had received 65.3 percent of the vote as of 11:05 p.m., compared with 34.7 percent for Scalia, a first-time candidate and marketing manager for Dotty’s.
School Board races are nonpartisan.
Cepeda, a project coordinator at Nevada State College, focused on the allegations against Child as fodder for her campaign, but she also campaigned heavily on bringing a larger focus on student achievement to the board.
For his part, Child has said he was focused on bringing fiscal transparency and accountability to the school district, which has struggled with budget deficits in recent years.
Child also has said all the allegations of harassment against him, which included a settlement for a former deputy superintendent who lodged complaints against the district over Child’s behavior, were a plot schemed up to get him booted off the board.
Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Child said he had nothing to be ashamed about, and again reiterated that he thought the complaints about his behavior were made up in an effort to get him kicked off the board.
“They got what they wanted, so congratulations,” he said.
Cepeda said Child’s comments about the outcome of the race are a reflection of his character and lack of self-awareness.
Ford will serve as the other fresh face on the School Board, replacing District F Trustee Carolyn Edwards, who cannot run again because of term limits.
Ford, a high school dropout, mother of two and business owner, took home a crowded primary, in which nine candidates appeared on the ballot. Fox Miller is an in-house attorney for Portfolio Recovery Associates. Both candidates received less than 20 percent of the overall vote in the primary.
For Cavazos, this is her first political victory. She was appointed to the board last year to replace Trustee Erin Cranor. Cranor vacated her seat to attend law school in Utah.
No primary was held for District G, as Cavazos and Scalia were the only two candidates on the ballot.
Cavazos was appointed to the seat in August 2017 from a field of 10 candidates who were interviewed by sitting school board members. She is a part-time family therapist and has worked as an English instructor at Basic and Sunset high schools.
Since becoming a board member, Cavazos has joined a coalition of three other trustees who reliably vote together on key contentious issues and make up the majority in the 4-3 split vote on the board. She often joins Deanna Wright, Lola Brooks and retiring board member Edwards on the prevailing side of votes.
Child, Chris Garvey and Linda Young are often on the losing side of the split vote.