Voters in Area 4 of the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) have chosen Gabrielle Blackman as the new school trustee.
The candidates included Blackman and Niranjana “Nini” Natarajan.
The unofficial final total saw Blackman with 488 votes and Natarajan with 215. Of the 5,368 registered voters, only 707 cast ballots in Area 4’s four precincts. Most ballots were sent in by mail. The results were reported on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website.
Blackman replaces Joe Giannini, who resigned last fall.
The school board in December appointed Natarajan in December. However, some voters petitioned the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) to have the appointment vacated, and an election called.
When the Registrar found 75 valid signatures, as required by state school law, which calls for a lower number than state election law, the ACOE ordered the seat vacated and the election called.
The school district went to Area voting after an attorney for the Southwest Voter Education Project sent a demand letter requiring them to do so under a California civil rights law, or face a potentially expensive lawsuit.
Board members who voted for Natarajan, President Amy Miller, Megan Rouse, and Dan Cunningham, said they thought she would bring fresh ideas to the board, as a newer resident on Dublin’s East Side. She is a controller for a Bay Area company.
Blackman, a designer for an architectural firm, ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 school board election. This time, according to her campaign website, she had the endorsement of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club, and former Assemblymember Catharine Baker.
Also endorsing her were Councilmember Arun Goel, DUSD trustee Dan Cherrier, who cast the lone vote for her when Natarajan was appointed, and Bobby Khullar, a candidate in the last Dublin council election.