Candidate Blames Opponent for Attack

A Sweetwater school board candidate, who was attacked while making an early-morning order at a local fast food restaurant, said he believes the crime is tied to the race for the school board seat. 

Valencia was assaulted by what he describes as two men in hooded sweatshirts while he was ordering at the drive-through window at the Jack in the Box restaurant on Palm Avenue.

“It happened so quick that I literally don’t remember,” he said in an interview Monday.

No words were exchanged according to Valencia and the men left without taking his Blackberry, watch or wallet.

“They just disappeared back into thin air,” he said.

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies confirmed they received a report of battery at 1:30 a.m. Sunday at that location but couldn’t confirm any other details.

Valencia suffered a cut lip and several teeth knocked out of their sockets in the assault. He has stitches inside his upper lip and said he’s got to see an oral surgeon and a cosmetic dentist to correct the damage.

Valencia sent a message via Twitter reporting that he had an inch long gash on his lip and a scratch on his neck.

When he spoke to NBCSanDiego Monday, he made it clear that he believes he was targeted because he’s been coined the whistleblower in his race for the Sweetwater school board seat.

“The only logical explanation for this, being that I’ve never been attacked before… is that I’m the most vocal candidate for the Sweetwater Union High School District Seat 5,” he said.

“I’ve exposed my opponent Arlie Ricasa. I’ve exposed the district for the waste of taxpayer resources that could’ve been used for kids’ programs but yet they choose to spend it frivolously on things they deem necessary,” he said.

“The current board members up for reelection want to stay in office because they’re getting what they want and that is money,” he said.

Via Twitter, The @VoteValencia account posted "I am doing okay, but just in a lot of pain. Nothing is going to stop me from fighting corruption." The account has 29 followers.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Valencia said he had been drinking earlier in the evening while making campaign signs and decided to go get food after putting up some signs in Imperial Beach.

The Sweetwater School Board president reportedly called Valencia’s allegations “absurd.”No charges have been filed in the assault.

Contacted late Monday afternoon, Ricasa said that Valencia's allegations of a political motive are "bordering on slander" .. "gutter politics" .. and "unbelievable."

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