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Today is filing day for school hopefuls

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By David Giuliani

Las Vegas City Schools board members Elaine Luna and Philip Leger, whose seats are up for election in February, say they’re running again.

For West Las Vegas, Christine Ludi says she plans to seek re-election, while most political observers say Ralph Garcia will be stepping aside after nearly three decades on the board.

The only other announced candidates on the west side are David George Romero, a local businessman, and Mike Adams, director of information technology at Luna Community College.

Today is the only day candidates can file for the Feb. 3 school board election.

Luna, who has served on the East board for a little more than five years, said she wants to help the district to continue moving forward. In particular, she said she wants the district to keep pushing health and wellness issues, which “are near and dear to my heart.”

Leger pointed to improvements in the East school district during his dozen years on the board. He noted the renovations at various schools and upgrades in academic programs.

“We have been successful in a lot of activities, including music, athletics, FFA, and the list goes on and on,” he said. “SAT scores are up. We’re right with the state average or a little higher. I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

West’s Garcia couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. But he’s not expected to run again. He was recognized for his service at the graduation ceremony in May at West Las Vegas High School.

He was indicted in 2007 in connection with alleged corruption in the school district’s bilingual department. That case isn’t expected to come to trial until next year, prosecutors say.

Ludi said she’s seeking re-election because she still has much to do for the schools. She praised the work of Superintendent Jim Abreu in advancing the district’s curriculum.

“We’ve done a lot with the buildings. Although we’re having problems with the heating and cooling systems, it takes time, and money is in short supply,” she said.

Romero said he doesn’t want to run against Ludi, but compete for the open seat. Calling himself a social activist, Romero is involved with Committee for the People. He is also a member of the city’s recreation advisory committee.

Romero is a graduate of Robertson High School, but both of his children attend West Las Vegas schools.

“My agenda for progressive change includes responsible oversight of the West Las Vegas Schools,” Romero said in a statement. “Responsible oversight means that I will be actively involved in the work of the school board in developing school policies that best benefit our children.”

Adams, a West Las Vegas High School graduate, said he has worked with West since he joined Luna.

“I think things can be changed for the better for the kids,” he said.