FTA backs three outsiders for Fresno Unified board

The Fresno BeeSeptember 11, 2012 

The Fresno Teachers Association is supporting three candidates -- two of whom are challenging incumbents -- for seats on the Fresno Unified School District board in the Nov. 6 election.

The FTA representative council voted Monday night to recommend Esmeralda Diaz in District 2, Andrew Doris in District 5 and George Whitman in District 6, FTA President Eva Ruiz said Tuesday.

The recommendations came after candidates interviewed with the FTA, Ruiz said. The representative council has about 150 teachers from throughout the district, she said.

"We're excited to recommend these candidates," Ruiz said. "We believe they will represent the students, parents and teachers."

Doris, a business consultant, is one of two candidates challenging incumbent Carol Mills, who represents the Fresno High area. The other candidate is Nicholas Montoya, a case manager.

Whitman, a commercial property lender, is seeking to oust incumbent Janet Ryan, who represents the Hoover High area. Other challengers are retired teacher Ken Trapp, insurance agent Carole Blomgren and Daniel Harrison, who lists his occupation as "economist/music teacher."

Diaz, a parent who has unsuccessfully run for the Fresno school board, is a candidate for the seat held by Larry Moore, who is not seeking re-election. Moore represents the Roosevelt High area. Other candidates are NAACP leader Daren Miller, a high school counselor in Madera, and Luis Chavez, chief of staff for City Council Member Sal Quintero.

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