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Lori Heuer

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Richard Estrada

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Katherine Harper

Early ballot counts put former Galt Mayor Lori Heuer ahead in the campaign for Galt Joint Union Elementary School District Trustee Area 2.

Heuer, as well as engineering manager Richard Estrada and nonprofit administrator Katherine Harper, is seeking to fill the seat on the district board of education that will be vacated by President Tom Silva. The winner will represent Trustee Area 2, which covers much of the area south of Elm and Orr roads, and north of New Hope Road; it includes Vernon E. Greer Elementary School.

In an update released at 10:15 p.m., Heuer had received about 40% of votes counted. Estrada and Harper were nearly tied, with 119 and 118 votes, respectively, giving each about 30% of the counted ballots.

Heuer has told the Herald that her previous experience as an elected official, on Galt City Council and the Galt Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees, make her “uniquely qualified to serve.”

If elected, Heuer said, “I would look to support policies that improve access to educational opportunities for all children while remaining fiscally responsible in our community. We need to support joint usage of public facilities for our families.”

Estrada has emphasized his support for bilingual education and programs teaching science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“I want to help ensure that all Galt students receive a quality education, in a safe and supportive environment. I believe that it is our responsibility to invest in our children and to help them grow beyond limitations placed on prior generations,” Estrada told the Herald.

Frustration over school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic motivated Harper’s entry to politics. She said she wants to “remove barriers to learning” and hear from parents about their concerns and ideas.

“I believe that local government only works when the citizens are involved,” Harper said. “I believe it’s the job of adults to safeguard our most precious resource, our children, even if that means sacrificing.”