Warren Fletcher
L.A. teachers union president Warren Fletcher, seen here at a candidates' forum, has ended his active campaigning for reelection. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times / March 4, 2014)
Los Angeles teachers' union president Warren Fletcher said he will no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.
In the first round of voting in March, Caputo-Pearl received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. The runoff election takes place this month with ballots set to be counted April 29.
In an interview Sunday, Fletcher said he has not formally suspended his campaign, and that he would serve again if he won. But the one-term incumbent emphasized that he has accepted the near inevitable.
He implied as much in a letter distributed last Wednesday at union area meetings.
“The results of the first round of the UTLA election were fairly unambiguous,” Fletcher wrote in the letter. “The voting membership has decisively signaled the desire for a change in direction. To assert otherwise would be to deny an obvious reality.”
Fletcher said he made a point of not beseeching union members to vote for him. Instead he called for unity and activism.
“Small voter participation numbers empower the enemies of Public Education,” Fletcher wrote. “Low voter numbers allow them to continue to spread the lie that teachers and Health and Human Services professionals don’t want union representation, and that we don’t care if our basic due