San Mateo County Community College District Board candidate Eugene Whitlock announced this week that he has suspended his campaign, leaving Half Moon Bay resident Lisa Petrides the presumptive winner and first Coastsider to sit on the board.

Although Whitlock has not formally withdrawn his candidacy and his name will appear on the ballot this November, he posted his decision to step out of the race on his campaign website. He cited family reasons.

“This really was a personal decision about primarily what is best for my family and me … but also about what is in the best interest of the students,” Whitlock wrote in a statement to the Review. “All things considered, it is best for me to step aside at this time. I will continue doing my work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Petrides said, even though Whitlock has stepped aside, she is continuing her campaign.

“The ballots will still have two candidates in the race,” Petrides said. “It will be very important for my campaign to continue to outreach, engage with stakeholders and voters to share my visions for the community college and hear from the community.”

Petrides said she is excited to serve as the first Coastsider to fill the seat, and will prioritize forming a strong partnership or even a satellite campus so local community colleges can more effectively reach the Coastside community.

“I will be bringing a keen sense of the challenges that we face here on the coast,” Petrides said.

“We have such a rich diversity in our community that would benefit so significantly from the commitment and ability to access higher education.”

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