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Morantes opts out of Ed Board re-election
August 07, 2012, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

At least one new face will join the San Mateo County Board of Education as Memo Morantes has decided not to run for re-election.

The November election has a few more school official hopefuls and one less name as the deadline to apply quickly approaches.

It appears the area seven representative on the San Mateo County Board of Education will be the most interesting this November. Memo Morantes currently holds the seat, which includes Las Lomitas, Menlo Park City, Portola Valley, Ravenswood City and Woodside Elementary school districts, as well as portions of Sequoia Unified School District. So far two people have filed to run — Joe Ross and Jo-Ann Sockolov. Primary care physician Alvin Zachariah previously filed to run but has since withdrawn his name. Morantes recently decided not to run again but did put his support behind Sockolov.

Sockolov serves as the executive director for the Redwood City Education Foundation.

Ross, who ran for the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees in November, is an educational nonprofit director who lives in Menlo Park. Morantes had an unsuccessful bid for the District Four seat on the Board of Supervisors in June.

Morantes pointed to Sockolov’s knowledge about the issues and experience already working with education leaders throughout the area as reasons he decided to support her.

Atherton resident Sockolov provided an interesting twist to the election already having previously pulled papers to possibly run simultaneously for City Council. She’s since decided to put 100 percent of her energy behind running for the school board.

The Political Reform Act does not prohibit an individual from holding multiple public positions, either within a single agency or different agencies, according to the California Fair Practices Commission website. In addition, there are no provisions of the act which bar a person from running for more than one elective office in a single election or from serving in more than one elected position at one time.

Four seats on the Board of Education total — held by Rod Hsiao, Jim Cannon, Ted Lempert and Morantes — are up for re-election. So far, all three have filed to run for re-election.

Cannon — who represents area five, which includes the Burlingame, Hillsborough City, Millbrae and San Bruno Park elementary school districts, and parts of San Mateo Union — and Lempert — who represents area six, which includes the Belmont-Redwood Shores, Redwood City and San Carlos elementary school districts, and part of Sequoia — both ran without opposition in 2008. Hsiao, who was challenged in 2008, represents area four, which includes the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District and parts of the San Mateo Union High School District.

In the South San Francisco Unified School District election, board President Judy Bush filed for re-election. Trustee Maurice Goodman is also up for re-election. He has yet to file but previously said he planned to do so.

The filing deadline is Aug. 10. Candidates have until Aug. 15 if an incumbent decides not to run.

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

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