At the forum, both addressed the issue, saying they had enough personal and professional integrity to carry off their board duties, if elected. “I know the Brown Act and the issues regarding quorum,” Martinez said at the time, “but we take our job seriously enough to know what our job is and to follow through with it.” Benavente’s bid for office may be over, but he reiterated his support for the district’s new superintendent, Lillian Maldonado French. “She’s headed in the right direction,” he added. “And I hope to see both Cathy and Gloria win back their seats.” Tracy Garcia can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “I talked to a guy Saturday and he said the academy is a lot more work than they were telling me,” he added. “I would rather have someone (on the board) who can really commit to it full time, not just a quarter of the time or maybe even less.” With his departure, there are now five candidates vying for three seats on the board in the Nov. 8 elections — Duran, Martinez, and challengers Art Escobedo, Grisel Vasquez and Diana Villalba. Escobedo said it was a shame to hear Benavente was dropping out of the race because “at the forum, he said things that made sense, and there were some things that I disagreed with. But he’s a concerned parent and taxpayer.” “But once you commit yourself to a board, it becomes a part of your everyday life,” Escobedo said. “And if you’re not going to have enough time, probably the wisest choice to make is to drop out of the race.” Benavente and Martinez took some hits in recent campaign mailers that described their bid for public office as a sort of power play to make up a majority on the five-member panel. WEST WHITTIER — School board candidate Jesse Benavente announced Monday he is dropping out of the race for the Los Nietos School District school board and throwing his support behind incumbents Gloria Duran and his wife Cathy Martinez. Benavente, 39, said he came to the decision over the weekend, after he passed the written and agility tests to join the Pasadena Police Department. At a candidates forum earlier this month at Los Nietos Middle School, Benavente had said he was planning to start the police academy in January. But this weekend, he realized the academy would be a lot more rigorous than he’d expected. “I’m not going to have the time — and not just for this race, but to continue with the school board for a year or year and a half until I get the academy completed,” Benavente said.