By Srishti Prabha | OBSERVER Staff Writer
Two Sacramento-area school districts, San Juan Unified and Natomas Unified are having special elections on Tuesday — Nov. 7 — to fill vacancies on their school boards. The new school board trustees’ terms will run until 2026. Each of these special elections can cost up to $135,000, according to the Sacramento County Office of Education.
Natomas Unified School Board, Area 4
During the 2022 midterm elections, Cindy Quiralte was voted onto the Natomas Unified School District Board representing Area 4, regions around Heron School and Natomas Middle School. In April of 2023 — less than five months into her term — she resigned and appears to have moved out of the district. A month later, by a vote of 3-1, the Natomas Unified School Board decided that the vacancy would be filled by a special election, to be held this month, rather than appointing someone to fill out the more than three-and-a-half years remaining in her term.
Six candidates are running, including Monique Hokman, who ran before and lost to Quiralte in 2022 by a 20% margin. Hokman was interviewed by CapRadio before that election on her school board priorities and was subject to criticism for her anti-vaccine rhetoric at school board meetings at the time.
Here are the candidates running for this seat. The endorsements listed were self-reported.
- Shahzad Anwar: parent, technologist and realtor
- Brenda Borge: past president of Natomas Teachers’ Association and retired school counselor
- Endorsed by Women Democrats of Sacramento County, Sacramento Central Labor Council, Natomas Teacher Association
- Scott Dosick: parent and former Natomas Unified school board member
- Endorsed by Natomas Democratic Club, Latino Democratic Club of Sacramento, Stonewall Democratic Club
- Monique Hokman: parent and businesswoman
- Endorsed by Paul Keefer, President of Sacramento County Board of Education; Tanya Kravchuk, San Juan Unified School Board Trustee; Craig DeLuz, Robla School Board Trustee
- Amir Khan: parent, veteran and small business owner
- Krystal King: parent and early childhood educator
San Juan Unified School Board, Area 7
The vacancy in San Juan Unified resulted from the death of long-time community advocate and incumbent school board trustee Steve “Sparky” Miller. He ran in 2022 and won the Area 7 seat, representing regions around Mesa Verde High School and San Juan High School, with 41% of the vote against Murad “Moe” Sarama and Oleg Shishko. One week after Miller’s passing, the San Juan Unified School School Board unanimously voted to fill the vacancy by special election.
Sarama is running again and is opposed by one other candidate. He was interviewed by CapRadio in 2022 on his school board priorities.
Here are the candidates running for this seat:
- Manual I. Perez: — a father and commercial driver
- Endorsed by: California Parents Union, Capital Lincoln Club, Sacramento GOP
- Murad “Moe” Sarama: — a parent and businessman
- Endorsed by: San Juan Teachers Association, Stonewall Democrats of Sacramento, Sacramento Central Labor Council
Here are in-person voting locations, which will be open from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7:
Crosswoods Community Center
6742 Auburn Blvd.
North Natomas Library
4660 Via Ingoglia St.
*This is also a vote-by-mail ballot drop-box location
Vote by mail ballot drop box locations:
Citrus Heights City Hall
6360 Fountain Square Dr.
Ballots can be deposited until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7
Rusch Park Community Center
7801 Auburn Blvd.
Ballots can be deposited from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7
7000 65th St., Suite A
Ballots can be dropped until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7