Keith Coleman withdraws from school board race – Santa Monica Daily Press


Unelected incumbent Keith Coleman, who has served on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) school board since January 2021, announced Friday afternoon that he would drop out of the race to retain his seat.

Coleman cited personal reasons for withdrawing his candidacy in an email shared with the Daily Press.

“This morning I made the painstaking decision to step down from running for the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board in the November election,” Coleman wrote. “As I unexpectedly relocate an ailing elderly relative to Santa Monica – and become their primary caregiver – my priority and focus right now must be their health and well-being.”

Coleman was appointed to the school board early last year to fill a vacancy left by Oscar de la Torre, a longtime member who left the school district board after a successful run for city council. from Santa Monica. His nomination follows an unsuccessful bid for the seat in the November 2020 election, in which he came second to fellow candidate Jason Feldman.

The timing of Coleman’s departure from the race, coming after he qualified for the election, means his name will still appear on the November ballot, but he will not campaign.

Coleman’s decision not to run to retain his school board seat comes after another incumbent, Malibu’s Craig Foster, also announced he would not seek re-election. Foster, who pulled out the nomination papers but did not submit them, will not appear on the ballot.

The departure of Foster and Coleman from the race opened up two of the four seats up for grabs in November. Incumbents Laurie Lieberman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein will campaign to retain their positions on the board, with five additional candidates vying: mother/business owner Angela DiGaetano, conflict specialist/COO Stacy Rouse, SMMUSD businesswoman/mom Alicia Mignano, parent/educational volunteer Esther Hickman and parent/business owner Miles Warner.

“It has been an honor to serve on the school board and help move the needle for a more equitable and inclusive school environment,” Coleman wrote in his email announcing his retirement from the school board race. “I will serve the remainder of my term and hope to eventually have the ability to be involved again in our wonderful school community.”

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