Christy Lozano on Friday conceded the race for Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools, but promised to continue to be part of educational solutions.
Ms. Lozano, a Santa Barbara Unified School District teacher on voluntary leave from Dos Pueblos High School, said the incumbent, Dr. Susan Salicido, won the June 7 primary. (County races were decided by the primary election and don’t advance to the general election.)
“With nearly all ballots counted, the first election in 40 years for Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools is over,” Ms. Lozano said in a statement to the News-Press, referring to the first contested race in decades. Normally candidates run unopposed for the office.
According to the Santa Barbara County elections office’s unofficial results, Dr. Salicido received 52,965 votes or 62.22% of the total votes cast. Ms. Lozano got 31,974 votes or 37.56%,
The results are scheduled to be certified by the county by July 7, then by the secretary of state on July 15. But Ms. Lozano decided not to wait any longer to concede.
“I did not prevail at the Santa Barbara County ballot box,” Ms. Lozano said.
“However, I am deeply thankful for the broad support, as well as the opportunity to shine a bright light on what I believe is the most important elected position in our county, the county superintendent of schools,” she said. “I appreciate each and every one of my wonderful supporters and my amazing team of campaign volunteers, and together we have made a difference.”
Ms. Lozano said the election accomplished something important for the county.
“Nearly 32,000 county voters agreed with my educational platform of transparency, positive educational outcomes, and safety, and they are now more aware than ever,” she said in her statement.
“Thousands more now know that half our county’s students cannot read, and only one-third can do math at state achievement levels. Our current education system is failing our children and our future. The current status quo successfully pushed back against change at the ballot box, but they can’t hold back the tide.
“The incumbent retained her position, but her job may never be the same again. Nor should it be. The curtain has been pulled back on the county’s $100 million budget and its failed oversight of over $1 billion of district budgets. Parents and community members may begin watching more closely now that their curiosity and expectations have risen.
“While Margaret Mead’s small group wisdom doesn’t always win elections, it is fundamentally right. We should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”