School board member Shelia Jackson was lukewarm about the initial absentee returns from the San Diego Unified primary, which showed her with a commanding lead over her two challengers. Absentee voters handed Jackson 54 percent of the vote in District E, and her two competitors split the remaining absentee votes. Yet Jackson lamented that she had had limited time to campaign amid the budget crisis that has consumed San Diego schools over the past several months.

“I’ve got a long way to go tonight, y’all,” she told a cluster of supporters as she watched election results in Golden Hall.

“Other people get out there and campaign while you’re in workshops,” she said. “I visited a few community meetings. I put up yard signs and made it to some late evening events. But there wasn’t much time to do anything else. … I didn’t really go out to tout what I’d been doing.”

With only absentee votes counted, Jackson’s current runner-up is computer teacher Xeng Yang, who got 24 percent of the absentee vote, followed by Marjorie Thomas with 22 percent of the absentee vote. The top two candidates in the primary will proceed to the November election, regardless of their percentage of the vote.

EMILY ALPERT

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