In the embattled Sweetwater district, six candidates are striving for two seats on a South County high school district board that manages a $320 million budget and 41,000 students.
Incumbent Pearl Quiñones appeared to hang onto her seat Tuesday night in the Sweetwater Union High School District board race, with about 85 percent of the votes counted.
The South Bay board member is facing felony bribery charges, tied to the San Diego County District Attorney’s “pay to play” corruption investigation. She has pleaded not guilty.
Quiñones is being elected to her fourth consecutive term on the South County school board. She failed to secure an endorsement from her own Democratic party, but had strong support from the mayoral forerunner Congressman Bob Filner. She bested three challengers with her closest opponent 8-points behind as of 2:20 a.m. Wednesday.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Quiñones has 35 percent of the vote, Cameron has 27 percent, Saenz-Gonzalez has 23 percent of the vote and Vogel has14 percent.
There are still roughly 475,000 ballots in the county that need to be counted, however.
Another incumbent, teacher Bertha Lopez, is running against former Chargers player Burt Grossman for Seat 4. Grossman originally said he planned to run against Quiñones, but changed his mind to battle for a seat against Lopez in a smaller field.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lopez has 55 percent of the vote over Grossman.