Editorial: Elected superintendent owed an announcement

San Benito County Superintendent of Schools Mike Sanchez talks at San Andreas' graduation in 2009 when he first became superintendent.

County Superintendent Mike Sanchez has been a tremendous asset to this community for nearly four decades and is preparing for a well-deserved retirement come December. Sanchez has served as superintendent since his appointment in 2009 following former Superintendent Tim Foley’s mid-term retirement. Before taking on the top job in local education ranks, Sanchez had served as assistant superintendent and principal at San Andreas Continuation High School.
His impact has been immense and reverberating, while this county will have a great void to fill when he retires.
Sanchez acknowledged those retirement plans – for the first time to the wider public – shortly after the first deadline for residents to declare candidacy on the June primary ballot. San Benito High School Principal Krystal Lomanto, another longtime member of the local school community, was the only name on the list of declared candidates running for this crucial leadership role, as posted by the elections office after the first of two deadlines to declare. Since Sanchez is an incumbent, the window to file was extended five days.
As much as Sanchez has given back to this community through his leadership, he owed the local constituency – particularly prospective candidates – more time to process his retirement.
In reality, Sanchez is one of the most popular people in this county and would have been a shoe-in for the superintendent role as long as he wanted to keep working. The likelihood of a credible candidate opposing Sanchez was slim to none.
Lomanto, of course, is a well-respected educator and an enthusiastic leader. That, however, doesn’t nullify the fact that there will be an uncontested race for one of the most important elected jobs in this county.
Politically, the non-announcement in the short term stands to benefit one person – Lomanto – along with her supporters. It does just the opposite for rest of the local citizenry and the democratic process.

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