Humberto Peraza and William Stewart won decisive election victories to claim seats on the Southwestern College Governing Board.
Peraza easily outdistanced opponent William “Bud” McLeroy for Seat #3. He said he was happy to be elected to a full term, but warned supporters that serious challenges lie ahead.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Peraza. “The perception of the college still needs to continue to be cleaned. There’s still reforms that need to be made. I’m going to continue to ask the tough questions of the administration. I will continue to fight for what I think is the right thing to do.”
Peraza was appointed to the SWC Governing Board last summer as a pay-to-play corruption scandal was coming to light. His primary goal his first year in office was to destroy the pay-to-play culture at SWC, he said.
Peraza said he will continue his work on reform and increasing transparency at the college in order to return forces to the students.
“Let’s get back to work, making sure we complete our mission of cleaning up Southwestern College,” he said.
San Diego City College Professor William Stewart, a Bonita resident, won decisively over Republican activist Elizabeth Roach for Seat #1.
“It looks like my opponent will be filling the seat and I wish him the best of luck,” said Roach. “I think that Southwestern College has a lot of wonderful potential.”
Stewart said his supporters are what really started his political machine moving.
“Instead of me feeling like I achieved something, I feel like there were a lot of people helping me achieve something,” he said. “It was really an amazing team effort that went into it.”
Stewart said what really drove him the most was the thought of his children.
“We have two kids and my wife and we both teach on the college level,” he said. “Our fundamental belief is that if you really want your kids to learn about the idea of participating in your community and community service, you teach them by doing it.”
Stewart said his main goals are getting SWC on a solid economic footing by starting from the bottom up and making the board accessible to everyone. He said he wants to make everyone feel like the board is someone they can talk to and wants everyone to have a voice.
“A community that goes through a tough time together can come together,” said Stewart. “People that are cohesive make it easier to work.”
Stewart will be sworn into his new position in December.
Albert Fulcher, Ana Bahena, Daphne Jauregui and Enrique Raymundo contributed to this story.