Temecula School Board President Set to Be Recalled

Temecula School Board President Set to Be Recalled

Temecula Valley Unified School District Board President Joseph Komrosky listens to a speaker during public comment session at a board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 22, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Brad Jones
Brad Jones


Updated: 6/9/2024


The campaign to recall Temecula Valley Unified School District Board President Joseph Komrosky is narrowly winning, according to preliminary results from the June 4 special recall election.
Preliminary results show the “yes” vote to recall Mr. Komrosky at 51.11 percent to 48.89 percent of “no” votes, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. Out of 9,662 votes counted, 4,934 voted  “yes” to recall  and 4,720 voted “no,” a 214-vote difference.
The election results will be certified on June 20 and then forwarded to the Secretary of State, according to the Registrar of Voters.
One Temecula Valley PAC, the group behind the recall campaign, gathered 4,884 signatures on the petition to recall Mr. Komrosky—just more than the required 4,280 signatures needed to prompt an election. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters certified the petition Jan. 22.
Mr. Komrosky told The Epoch Times that hundreds of his “vote no” signs were stolen, defaced, and destroyed during the campaign, while Jeff Pack, spokesman for One Temecula Valley PAC, said hundreds of “yes” signs were also removed.
Both Mr. Komrosky and Mr. Pack said air tags or trackers were used on some of their signs and the incidents have been reported to police. They also both said their respective campaigns discouraged supporters from vandalizing, removing, or stealing signs.
“We had hundreds of signs stolen. They had hundreds stolen,” Mr. Pack said.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who is running for governor, recently traveled from Oakland to Temecula to attend a rally in support of the recall.
Mr. Komrosky said the effort is due to his “conservative, traditional family values.”
“That is why they want me recalled. That’s it. It’s real simple,” he said. “They just want me out. They don’t care how they have to do it.”
But, Mr. Pack said the recall effort is also about fiscal responsibility.
“It was the money,” he said, citing the costs of dismissing school superintendent Jodi McClay and litigation. “The legal bills that we’re paying this year just either because of lawsuits or for advice ... is through the roof.”
The recall effort was sparked after Mr. Komrosky’s push for the district’s ban on teaching critical race theory (CRT) and its policy that bans all flags except the U.S. and state flags from being displayed, as well as a parental notification policy which requires parents to be informed if their child changes their gender identity at school.
In March 2023, the district held a CRT Forum, which came under the national media spotlight when it erupted into chaos, further dividing the otherwise sleepy city in southwest corner of Riverside County.
CRT is an ideology that divides people into oppressors and oppressed based on race and purports that race is not a biological reality but a social construct.
The district has also banned books deemed to contain “pervasive profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, pornography and erotica.”
Regarding the books, Mr. Pack said the school board president shouldn’t be allowed to push his own religious views on all parents and students.
“Whether you agree with it or not or you think it’s moral or not doesn’t matter,” Mr. Pack said. “If you think something’s immoral, I may not. I was the type of parent that was like, ‘Read what you want and if you have questions, just talk to me about it,’ but some of these parents don’t want their kids to see any of it ... because of their religious beliefs.”
The district has been embroiled in controversy since 2022, when three conservatives board members were elected, shifting the balance of power on the five-member school board.
In late February, a Riverside County Superior Court judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against the school board’s parental notification policy and CRT ban, allowing the policies to remain in place during trial.

Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.

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