Jillian Balow won the Republican nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tuesday night, beating out two other contenders. Now, she’ll face Democrat Mike Ceballos in November’s general election.
Balow is an administrator with the Wyoming Department of Family Services and a former teacher. She received 41 percent of the statewide vote.
Sheryl Lain works as an instructional leader under current Superintendent Cindy Hill. She got 32 percent of the vote—and former Navy submarine commander Bill Winney got 27 percent.
During Cindy Hill’s tenure as Superintendent, there’s been no shortage of controversy surrounding the Wyoming Department of Education. Balow says that’s why voters chose her over Lain.
“I really think that Wyoming is ready to see controversial politics omitted from education,” said Balow. “We have paid a high price for the controversy, and that is—you know—a lack of education moving forward in Wyoming. And I think people are really ready to see a leader who has a proven record of healing a system.”
Balow’s opponent in the general election, Mike Ceballos agrees that there needs to be less focus on conflict at the Department, and more focus on results. Ceballos is a former telecommunications executive who says his experience leading Qwest Wyoming proves he can get the job done.
“ I produced really great results with a team of experts that are very similar in their kind of work and make up that the department of education has,” Ceballos said.
Ceballos ran unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary and raised $71,000 for the campaign. That’s more than the three Republicans combined. Balow raised the most in her party—with $40,000.