Two seats were contested in the Elk Grove Unified School District board this November. This board makes decisions that impact the education of more than 64,000 students at 67 schools.
As of Nov. 4, incumbent Tony Perez led the Trustee Area 1 race with 59% of the vote, followed by his opponent Regina Banks at 40%.
If elected, Perez would enter his third term of representing the Florin community in Trustee Area 1. He has a history of conflicts with his fellow trustees, and three of them endorsed his opponent. Banks is a Florin High School graduate and the director at the Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California. She also gained the support of the Elk Grove Education Association’s political action committee.
Perez reportedly had a comfortable lead of 13,409 votes over Banks on Election Night, according to a Sacramento County elections office report. He could not be reached for comment, as of press time.
In the Trustee Area 3 race, two candidates and a write-in candidate competed for the seat that was held by Trustee Chet Madison for 20 years. Earlier this year, Madison announced that he was not seeking reelection and he endorsed candidate Bobby Roy to be his successor.
Trustee Area 3 represents Sacramento’s Valley Hi and North Laguna communities.
On Election Night, Roy ranked second with 36% of votes while his opponent Sean Yang took the lead with 45%. Victor Wilson dropped out of the race in September, but he still won 17% of the vote on Nov. 3.
Chris Baker, who ran against Madison in 2016, was a write-in candidate this year. The county’s elections office reported that 37 write-in votes were recorded on Nov. 3.
During his Nov. 4 interview, Yang told the Citizen that he was thankful for his support from voters and volunteers in his run for Trustee Area 3. He mentioned what he looks forward to doing in the school board if he’s elected.
“I want to make sure that our resources are being allocated equitably to help out marginalized students,” Yang said, adding that he wants to support career training programs.
He gained early support from Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly when he kicked off his campaign in February.
Yang is a Valley High School graduate who immigrated to the United States as a 12-year-old Hmong refugee from Thailand. He works as a medical imaging specialist for Kaiser Permanente.
Incumbents Nancy Chaires Espinoza of Trustee Area 6 and Trustee Area 7’s Carmine Forcina were reelected without opposition this November.
This election will likely be the school board’s final “from-district” election where voters who live across the district can vote on candidates running in all of the Trustee Area races.
Last December, the board voted to transition their election system toward the “by-district” model that has voters only choosing among candidates running in their local Trustee Area. This new system could begin with the board’s November 2022 election.