The San Dieguito Union High School District building is shown on July 2, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

Ty Humes, whose checkered professional history was the subject of an inewsource investigation earlier this year, appears to have lost his bid to rejoin the San Dieguito school board.

Why this matters

The winner of the San Dieguito Union High School District’s special election will help oversee a $174 million budget as the turbulent district reels from financial trouble and discord among the board and faculty.

Unofficial election results released by county officials Tuesday night show the one-time trustee was handily defeated by opponent Julie Bronstein, who took nearly 60% of the vote. Candidate Lea Wolf placed third. Only 1,000 votes remain to be tallied by election workers; more than 6,000 were cast in the all mail-in election. 

Humes did not respond to requests for comment.

The results are considered unofficial until a canvass is completed by Nov. 18. Mail ballots postmarked for Tuesday and received through Nov. 9 will be accepted, according to the county registrar of voters.

Bronstein, executive director of development and community fundraising at UC San Diego, said on Facebook late Tuesday that she “can’t wait to get to work” for the North County school district.

Humes was on the San Dieguito Union High School District board for less than two months after being unanimously appointed to fill a vacancy. A petition effort led in part by the teachers union rescinded his appointment and forced a special election for the district’s Area 5.

On the campaign trail, Humes touted his record as part-owner of a biotech company and former board president for a local education foundation. But inewsource found multiple discrepancies among his claims, including companies that were out of compliance with state business regulations and his involvement in a 2017 fundraiser for the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation that left unpaid bills — possibly as much as nearly $90,000 — and nothing in proceeds

Candidate Ty Humes is seen in this screenshot of his Oct. 2, 2021, campaign video for the San Dieguito Union High School District board.

Humes has stood by his record, including his time at the foundation. He blames an outside organizer for the unpaid bills.

One of the highest-rated districts in the county, San Dieguito has been embroiled in turmoil. It faced a nearly $14 million budget deficit earlier this year and has seen separate lawsuits from the teachers union and parents over COVID-19 reopening decisions.

About 23% of registered voters participated in the special election for Area 5, which includes Carmel Valley and Pacific Highlands Ranch.

Bronstein is expected to be sworn in at the board’s next meeting, a district spokesperson said. 

Type of Content

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

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Jennifer BowmanInvestigative Reporter – South Bay and Imperial County

Jennifer Bowman is an investigative reporter at inewsource, covering Imperial County and the South Bay. She used to cover education for inewsource. She’s happy to be back in her hometown after stints at daily newspapers in Michigan and North Carolina. At the Asheville Citizen Times,...