Parent activist Andrea Yamasaki has won a landslide victory over Greg Salas in the all-mail special election to fill the Area 1 vacancy on the Orange Unified School District Board of Education:

Yamasaki win

Yamasaki had originally applied for appointment to the vacancy, which was created last summer by the resignation of Trustee Diane Singer. A majority of the OUSD Board instead selected a political ally of Trustee Tim Surridge, a choice that was met with a major community backlash. Singer led a successful citizen petition to void the Salas appointment and force a special election to fill the seat. You can click here for more backseat on this turbulent episode.

There was little doubt Yamasaki would win; the only question was by much. In addition to a fervent base of volunteers, Yamasaki was the only candidate to mount a serious voter communication program, sending out at least separate mailers. To my knowledge, Salas sent out no mail – his only contact with voters being his candidate statement.

Turnout was low – just 19,726 ballots cast out of 102,862 voters for a turnout of 18.5%. The Greater Orange News Service blog posted additional turnout info:

Of the 17,988 ballots returned, total of 9,607 ballots were from Republicans (53.4% of the vote). Democrats returned 5,028 ballots (28% of the vote). Independents and minor party votes made up the remaining 3353 ballots (18.6% of the total vote).