Incumbent Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido was holding the lead over challenger Christy Lozano with only mail-in ballots counted early Tuesday evening in the Statewide Direct Primary Election.
Salcido had 27,368 votes, or 66.7% of the votes compared to 13,563, or 33.1% for Lozano as of 8:45 p.m., with no precincts reporting in yet, according to the County Elections Office.
Regardless, with only those two on the ballot and no qualified write-in candidates, the pair will head to a runoff in the November general election.
Salcido has led the County Education Office, supporting 20 school districts, after being elected in 2016 and assuming the position in 2017.
She began her teaching career at Dos Pueblos High School, then served as assistant principal of San Marcos High School and principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School.
She joined the County Education Office in 2006 as a director in the Curriculum and Instruction Division and later served as assistant superintendent for the Instructional Services Division.
She was the County Education Office deputy superintendent from 2012 until taking the superintendent’s seat in 2017.
Lozano has been a teacher for more than 18 years in Santa Barbara County, working six years at McKinley and Cleveland elementary schools, four years at LaCumbre and Santa Barbara junior high schools and nine years at Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools.
During that time, she has served as a physical education teacher, leadership teacher, department chair, union representative, teacher-in-charge, girls soccer head coach and a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor.
The mother of a teenage daughter, she is also a U.S. Air Force veteran who served overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.