Elk Grove school board candidate Michael Vargas at Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's Election Night party, Nov. 8. 

Michael Vargas, an employment law educator with the McGeorge School of Law, is currently leading the race for the Elk Grove Unified School District’s Trustee Area 2 seat. However, on election night, he was only 316 votes ahead of his opponent, Stephanie Spurlin who is a retired nurse.

As of Nov. 9, the Sacramento County elections office reported that Vargas has 53% of the vote while Spurlin has 46%.

Both candidates are running to succeed Trustee Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire who decided to not run for reelection after serving for eight years. The Florin High School graduate has the distinction of being the first Native American to serve on the Elk Grove school board. The trustee is now backing Vargas for the Trustee Area 2 seat.

“I ran the campaign I wanted to run and at the end of the day, that’s all you can do, and it’s up to voters to decide what are their priorities and what they want out of a candidate,” Vargas told the Citizen before the first round of election results were announced.

Spurlin said that she is still awaiting the results as ballots continue to be counted.

“There are many uncounted ballots, so I will wait and see what the final results reveal,” she said. “I would like to thank all the voters who supported my candidacy.”

Trustee Area 2 covers eastern Laguna and the Elk Grove neighborhoods that line the east side of the Highway 99 corridor such as Camden and Hampton Village.  Elk Grove and Monterey Trail high schools are also in this trustee area.

Under the school board’s election system, only voters who live in Trustee Area 2 can choose among the candidates in this November’s election.

Area 4 Trustee Gina Jamerson and Area 5 Trustee Beth Albiani ran unopposed in this year’s board election. The board appointed Jamerson to the Area 4 seat last year after her predecessor, Bobbie Singh-Allen was elected mayor of Elk Grove. Albiani has served as a trustee since 2014.

As for the board’s only contested race, Vargas said that he spent the final three weeks of his campaign knocking on doors and speaking to voters in his trustee area.

“It’s the face-to-face stuff that matters and gets people out to vote, and gets people excited about an election,” he said.

The county elections office plans to announce their latest vote count on Nov. 11. This office must certify the November election’s results by Dec. 8.