BOISE, Idaho -

Sherri Ybarra has won a close Republican primary for superintendent of public instruction, setting up what could be one of the most competitive statewide races in November.

Ybarra of Mountain Home took 28 percent of Tuesday's vote. Randy Jensen of American Falls was in second place with just over 24 percent, followed by John Eynon of Cottonwood with 24 percent and Andy Grover of Melba with 23 percent.  All four of the candidates came with experience as educators but no political background.

Democratic challenger Jana Jones ran unopposed in the primary. Jones barely lost to incumbent Tom Luna in 2006 and is expected to be a strong candidate in the general election. Luna opted not to run for a third term.

The Gem State is one of 13 states where the superintendent of public instruction is an elected office.