Education

Talamantes, Keefer win education board posts as Sacramento County election results are finalized

‘She has incredible energy:’ This 29-year-old represents next generation of leaders

Karina Talamantes, 29, campaigns for a seat on the Sacramento County Board of Education on Sunday, May 20. She is running for the District 2 seat, which includes Natomas, North Sacramento, Del Paso Heights and Rio Linda. The election is June 5.
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Karina Talamantes, 29, campaigns for a seat on the Sacramento County Board of Education on Sunday, May 20. She is running for the District 2 seat, which includes Natomas, North Sacramento, Del Paso Heights and Rio Linda. The election is June 5.

Karina Talamantes and Paul Keefer have won positions on Sacramento County's Board of Education.

With all of the ballots from the June 5 primary election tallied as of Friday afternoon, the two candidates eked out narrow victories over their opponents.

Talamantes, a 29-year-old UC Davis graduate and daughter of Mexican farm workers, has worked for 10 years in federal programs for low-income students. She beat Ray Green, a program director for the Roberts Family Development Center, 44 percent to 42 percent.

Management consultant Nate Pelczar finished third with 13 percent of the vote. Talamantes will represent Area 2, which includes Natomas, Robla, Elverta, Center Joint and part of the Twin Rivers districts.

Keefer, a charter school executive who runs the Pacific Charter Institute, received more than $150,000 from charter school advocates during his campaign, according to statements filed with the county. The 51-year-old defeated Sacramento State professor Richard Launey 51 percent to 48 percent for the Area 3 seat, which represents parts of San Juan, Twin Rivers and Sacramento City Unified school districts.

"I am honored by the confidence voters have shown, and the responsibility entrusted to me," Keefer said. "Education has big challenges: We need to be more innovative, demand more accountability and focus on putting students and families first."

Added Talamantes: "I'm humbled by the trust voters have placed in me, and I'm eager to get to work."

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