FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – It’s Fresno native Andy Levine’s first time ever running for office, and as of Wednesday, he has 56% of the vote in the Fresno Unified School District’s board of trustees special election.

“I’m very humbled, very honored. I ran for this because it’s the school district that raised me. I’ve sort of been on a quest ever since graduating from Edison High School to try and address the inequities I saw in the system. The opportunities that I received weren’t provided to all students,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Russ Allen has 354 votes, which is 12% of the total. Andrew Fabela has 336, 11% of the total. Levine leads the pack with 1,693 of the votes, 56% of the total. Rounding out the candidates is Daniel Renteria with 647 votes, 21% of the total.

Levine is a senior advisor for the community organization Faith in the Valley and a sociology lecturer at Fresno State. His training is in the sociology of education.

“…Looking at how a whole neighborhood, and the inequalities in it, impact our schools and vice versa,” he said.

President of the Fresno Teachers Association Manuel Bonilla said he also believes Levine will be a welcome addition to a board that has grown increasingly volatile. New security measures and protocols for engagement were put in place at meetings.

 “In regards to authentic dialogue about how we push forward together – that’s not taking place. We need to get back to designing for the needs of the classroom, students, and teachers,” Bonilla said.

The next vote tally will be released on Friday.