Abigail Rosales Medina, president of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board, has announced her candidacy for the state Senate District 23.
Medina describes herself as “a progressive woman of color who understands firsthand the needs of our community.”
She is the fourth declared candidate for the seat that has been held by Republican Mike Morrell since 2014.
Morrell will be termed out next year.
The candidates are Republicans Lloyd Alfred White, a Beaumont city councilman who works at Esri in Redlands, and Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, a trustee on the Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District, and Democrat Kris Goodfellow, a former journalist who runs Redlands-based Voyager Search, which provides search and data management solutions.
Medina doesn’t mention her party affiliation in her press release, but her website lists endorsements by several Democrats, such as state Sen. Ben Hueso and Assembly members Eloise-Gomez Reyes and Christina Garcia.
She also is endorsed by four fellow school board trustees, including Margaret Hill. Medina was elected to the board in November 2013, coming in third in a field of seven candidates. She had 16.7 percent of the vote.
“As a Latina daughter of working-class, immigrant parents, I have shaped my values on that very personal road where poverty is all too often the starting point and far too few reach prosperity,” she says in her campaign announcement.
“Determined to make certain every child starts with all of the tools needed for success, I have spent my years in public service fighting for equality and fair treatment for everyone.”
San Bernardino City Unified, the ninth largest district in the state, has seen graduation rates increase from 60 percent to 90 percent in the past decade. It has an annual budget of more than $500 million.
Medina has served as director of the Inland Regional Equality Network and on the boards of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Inland Empire United and the Dental Board of California.
The district has roughly the same number of Democrats and Republicans, 35.3 percent to 35.2 percent.
Another 24.1 percent have no party preference.
Voter registration trends continue to increase for Democrats with nearly 2,000 more Democratic voters registered in the district than Republicans, according to a California Secretary of State report released in February.