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Incumbents trailing in FUESD board races

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

Change is on the way to the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. Election returns are still unofficial – and one race is extremely close – but as of the newspaper’s print deadline Monday evening, Nov. 14, all three incumbents on the Nov. 8 ballot were trailing their conservative challengers.

Trustees will be sworn in at the Dec. 12 board meeting.

The two candidates for Area 1 of the elementary district are separated by 17 votes through results released Monday evening, Nov. 14. That’s with 80,000 outstanding ballots in the county remaining to be counted.

Caron Lieber and challenger Diane Sebalj are in that tight race in the elementary district’s Area 1. Incumbent Lieber had been ahead since the first election night count until Nov. 13 when Sebalj took a lead by a mere 10 votes. The update on Nov. 14 stretched her lead to 17 – 444 votes to 427.

So, while that race is certainly too close to call, the other two seats also won’t be official until the Dec. 8 date for the election to be certified by the Registrar of Voters. The other two races:

In Area 4, it appears incumbent Susan Liebes will be unseated by Stacey McRae. Through Nov. 14, McRae had 2,133 votes (50%) to Liebes’ 1,712 votes (40%). Krystal Lee received 412 votes though she didn’t campaign and urged people to vote for McRae.

In Area 5, challenger Mary McBride has 2,063 votes (55%) compared to JoAnn Lopez with 1,712 (45%).

Sebalj, McRae and McBride were each supported by conservative groups.

The Registrar of Voters has given updates most days since election evening, usually about 5 p.m. The first set of unofficial election night results included mail ballots received before Election Day and vote center ballots from Oct. 29 to Nov. 7.

For the latest results, visit The results must be certified by Dec. 8, and the Registrar of Voters expects to use the full certification period to make sure the results are accurate.

The county has nearly 2 million registered voters and voter turnout through Nov. 15 was 50.2%. Information on the number of uncounted ballots from this area was not available.


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