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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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San Dieguito Union High School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Randy Berholtz

Randy Berholtz

17,653 votes (14.09%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Balanced Budgets
  • Ensure that Teacher's have Amply Supply Budgets Without Having to Burden Parents
  • Engage in Long Range Strategic Planning that Places the Needs of Students First



Profession:Lawyer, Businessman and Professor
Partner and Co-Founder, Sorrento Valley Law Group (2016–current)
Senior Advisor and General Counsel, Mesa Verde Ventures (2006–current)
Adjunct Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2000–current)
Partner, Ventac Partners (2016–current)
Alternate Member, County of San Diego Republican Party Central Committee — Appointed position (2012–current)
Public Member, Del Mar Union Elementary School Parent-Teacher Advisory Council — Appointed position (2013–2013)
Central Committee Member, County of San Diego Republican Party Central Committee — Elected position (2010–2012)
Member, Rancho Bernardo Community Council — Elected position (2004–2006)


University of San Diego School of Business MBA, Business Administration (2015)
Yale Law School JD, Law (1990)
Pembroke College, Oxofrd University M.Litt, Politics/Regulation (Rhodes Scholar) (1987)
Cornell University BA, Political Economy (1984)

Community Activities

Board Member, Alma Life Sciences Foundation (2016–current)
President and Board Member, San Diego Chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association (2013–current)
Board Member, San Diego Chapter of the Federalist Society (2014–current)
Board Member and Executive Committee Member, Vice President, Programs, San Diego Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (2010–2015)
Member, LEAD San Diego (2000–2001)


I am a corporate lawyer, life science enrepreneur and adjunct professor of law and business.  

I am also a First Generation Professional who is from the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Region whose father was a coal miner and whose mother worked in a dress factory.  My mother was a member of the Inernational Ladies Garment Workers Union.

I was a three sport athlete in public high school (baseball, football and wrestling), I have a second dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do Karate, a take yoga, lift weights and road bike.  

I have been married to my wife Rachel for 30 years, I have a daughter Harriet (24) and another daughter Emma (21).  My wife is from Wales in the United Kingdom and we married when I was at Oxford.   

I was the Student Athlete of the Year in my high school, a Presidental Scholar at Cornell and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.  At Oxofrd, I played rugby and rowed.  I then returned to the US and received a law degree from Yale where I was the Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  I then clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas.

After Texas, I returned to the UK and worked on a doctoral thesis in politics that I put on hold when we had our first child and then I returned to the US and worked for a law firm in NY.  I then moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to my family when my parents health deteriorated and work for a law firm.  I then moved to San Diego and have been here for 20 years working for two law firms and then as the general couonsel to three public life science companies and one group of US and Chinese private life science companies based in Hangzhou China and San Diego.

i currently own my own law firm, work as a general counsel to a venture fund and also am an adjunct professor of law at a local law school.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Michael Mueller

Organizations (1)

  • San Diego County Republican Party

Elected Officials (12)

  • John Salazar, San Dieguito Union School Board
  • Sam Abed, Mayor City of Escondido
  • Joel Anderson, CA State Senator
  • Bill Baber, La Mesa City Council
  • TJ Zane, Poway Unified School Board
  • Mark Muir, Encinitas City Council
  • Maureen "Mo" Muir, San Dieguito Union School Board
  • Mark Powell, San Diego County Board of Education
  • Mark Kersey, Councilman, City of San Diego
  • Kristin Gaspar, Mayor of the City of Encinitas
  • Kevin Faulconer, Mayor City of San Diego
  • James Kelly, Grossmont High School Board

Individuals (40)

  • Lynnette Williams
  • Mark Wyland, Former State Senator, Candidate of San Diego County Board of Education
  • Carl DeMaio, Former City Councilman City of San Diego
  • Gary Felien, Former City Councilman, City of Oceanside
  • Leslie Schneider, Candidate, Encinitas School Board
  • Anne-Katherine Pingree, Candidate Encintas School Board
  • Phil Graham, Candidate, Encinitas City Council
  • Ron Nehring, Former Grossmont School Board Member
  • Victor Graham, Candidate San Marcos Unified School District
  • Barry Jantz
  • Sage Naumann
  • Matt Stockton
  • Ken Gosselin, Esq.
  • Craig Candalor, Esq.
  • Richard Baily
  • Eric Andersen
  • Brian Brady
  • Brian Lynch, Esq.
  • Barrett Tetlow
  • Steve Quinn
  • Ruth Weiss
  • Ryan Darby, Esq.
  • Jeannie Foulkrod
  • Andrew Skale, Esq.
  • John Staley, Esq.
  • Fred Kosmo, Esq.
  • Lincoln Pickard
  • Dustin Steiner
  • Scott Hansen
  • Leo DeMeo
  • Francis Barazza, Esq.
  • Scott Reiker
  • Claire Reiss
  • Jeremy Evans, Esq.
  • Ronson Shamoun, Esq.
  • Andre Castillo
  • Julio DeGuzman
  • Arkan Somo
  • Joseph Bologna
  • Tim Hilligher

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools. What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Randy Berholtz:

The Local Control Funding Formula (the "Formul") and the LCAP that is required by the Formula guides how the San Dieguito Union School District (the "District') will develop educational goals and allocate resources to the Districts' schools.  It is essential that the District's Board seeks input from all of the important players in the school system meaning its students, parents, educators and administrators.  

Transparency is a key to the entire process and parents and the stakeholders understand the finances of the District and how they are spend.  In addition, it is important to use the LCAP to establish District student achievement priorities and then allocate its resources effectively to maximize student results.

Over reliance on the input of any certain group of stakeholders may be detrimental to the efficient allocation of the District's resources to efficiently achieve the maximization of its student achievement priorities.

Questions from League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (1)

What is the most significant challenge facing the San Dieguito Union High School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?
Answer from Randy Berholtz:

The most important issue facing the San Dieguito Union High School District is that the current Board majority has agreed to a teachers union contract that the District cannot afford and that has clauses that will cause the district to further deplete its reserves and also may lead to a deficit in the next few years.

The Board majority has done so at the same time that it cut the teachers school supply budget significantly and thus many teachers are left having continuously to ask students and parents to pay for their own classroom supplies.

The Board majority cannot be a mere rubber stamp to the teachers unions but must work with them along with the other District stakeholders:  students, parents, administrators, elected officials and tax payers to approve contracts that are fair to all parties involved, that do not result in deficit spending, do not increase classroom size and that are tied to teacher performance.

The Board majority must also create a long-range strategic plan that seeks to place the District in a position to continue as one of the best schools in the nation.  If it does not reign in such extravagant contracts and out of touch budgets, it will be very difficult for the District to maintain its competitive edge.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I was originally a Democrat and worked on the Clinton campaign.  I was previously a conservative labor Democrat and then switched parties to become a Republican when I felt that the Democratic Party was going in a more extreme liberal direction.

I have been a Republican for over 22 years and am a fiscal conservative, but I have a strong love and appreciation for teachers because my wife is a languages teacher and my youngest daughter is studying to be a teacher.  I have also taught in law and business school for over 16 years ad taught law school in China for three summers.

I believe that a school district needs to live within its means and balance the needs equally of the district's students, parents, teachers, administrators and taxpayers.  

I don't like to be bullied, by unions or anyone.  I support the underdog as I grew up with a stutter and was from a poor family.  I believe there is greatnes in everyone and that it is the job of parents, teachers and our schools to discosver and nurture that greatness in every student.

Position Papers

Fiscal Responsibility is the Key to a Successful San Dieguito Board


The San Dieguito Union School Board needs to have three main goals:

1.  It needs a comprehensive long range plan that considers equally the goals and needs of the Districts' students, parents, teachers, administrators and taxpayers;

2.  It needs a fiscally responisble approach to the budget that lowers class room student size and increases student achievement; and

3.  It needs to stop pandering to the needs of unions and needs to take a blanced approach that is student centric but still balances our needs to hire and retain quality teachers and administrators.

SDUHSD Needs a Fiscally-Responsible Board with a Shared Strategic Vision

In this election year I am concerned about the San Dieguito High School District’s board leadership. I believe that the district needs a strong board that has a shared strategic vision to maintain the district’s high standards of educational excellence into the next decade and a balanced, fiscally conservative budgetary and administrative approach to ensure that all resources are used efficiently.

Currently the board, in a 3-2 split decision, approved a budget that may compromise the fiscal solvency of the district in future years. Additionally, they have not developed a proactive strategic plan that has received the proper input and buy-in from all important stakeholders, including taxpayers, parents, students, administrators, and teachers.  This plan needs to be developed in an independent and collaborative manner, that is not beholden to any special interests of any one group such as the teacher’s unions.  

 I am very concerned that the district leadership has been fiscally irresponsible by approving a new teachers’ contract that allowed for a 5.5 percent retroactive pay increase with a 7.5 percent annual raise thereafter that includes such outlandish clauses as one that increases pay if any other local district in the area increases their pay with no tie to student performance. Budget projections show that the contract may result in future district deficits. This budget may even allow for increasing the average class size to 38 students. This budget is not only fiscally irresponsible, but risks the great student performance that San Dieguito schools are known for. 

    The district deserves a fiscally conservative and responsible budget with no deficit spending that will put the health, well-being and performance of our students as our number 1 priority.

    The San Dieguto board majority must stop pandering to excessive and uncompetitive demands of its unions and start adopting the same conservative fiscal and administrative policies that our students' families, businesses and future employers must adhere to.

Randy Berholtz

Del Mar Highlands



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