Candidate withdraws from Victoria school board race

March 1, 2013 at 3 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2013 at 9:02 p.m.

After giving the fine print another look, Jake Flores, 20, decided to withdraw his name from the 2013 Victoria school board elections.

The college sophomore withdrew his bid for District 1 on Wednesday after going over the rules with VISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich.

He filed the day before.

Flores realized that if he were elected to office he would have to give up his job tutoring 65 early-college students at Liberty Academy, according to rules set by the state attorney general.

"It is with a humble heart that I withdraw from the race," Flores said. "My role as an AVID tutor and Texas Performance Standard Project student tutor is very important to me. This campus has been a prime example of 'every child, every day.'"

Because he is not a salaried employee who receives benefits, Flores said he and his mentors believed he would be able to keep his job with this district despite holding a public office.

"This is my primary source of income, and it's an important job," Flores said. "I take care of my own bills."

The former VISD student said the superintendent did not discourage him from running but wanted to be sure he would be able to maintain his job if elected to office.

VISD school board President Tami Keeling said she does not envy the 20-year-old's position.

"He's made a very mature yet difficult decision," Keeling said. "He's a wonderful young man. Jake is doing a fabulous job serving the kids he mentors, and as a product of that system himself, he's making a tremendous impact on those students' lives."

This was Flores' third time filing for office.

The school board president spoke fondly of the District 1 incumbent Kevin VanHook. "On the flip side of the fence, Kevin VanHook is doing an exceptional job as a school board member."

As a college sophomore studying art in Austin on the weekends, Flores said he would have been willing to make a commitment to public service despite his weekend commutes to school and weekday job with the district.

The filing period for the May 11 election ended Friday.

Other incumbent board members did not draw opponents. Candidates are VanHook for District 1, Bernard Klimist for Super District 7 and Michael DiSanto for Super District 6.



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