Thurmond Declares Victory in California’s Expensive, Contested Superintendent Race

By Daarel Burnette II — November 19, 2018 1 min read
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Tony Thurmond, a Democratic state assembly member backed heavily by the state’s teachers union, declared victory in a written statement to local media over the weekend in California’s hotly contested state superintendent race.

After a week-long count of absentee ballots in which Thurmond was ahead by thousand votes of Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive. Tuck conceded in an e-mail to his supporters.

The race became the most expensive superintendent race in California’s history with candidates spending a combined $53 million. Many in the state saw the race as a proxy war between the state’s charter sector, which backed Tuck, and its influential teachers union.

“I want to thank the voters of California for electing me to serve the 6 million students of California,” said Thurmond, according to local media reports. “I intend to be a champion of public schools and a Superintendent for all California students.”

Tuck, who also lost the 2014 state superintendent race by a few thousand votes, conceded in an e-mail to many of his supporters over the weekend, according to local news reports.

“As you can imagine, the disappointment has crept in there in a pretty big way more recently as it was becoming clear to me that I wasn’t going to get a job that I wanted and that I thought I would be really good at,” Tuck said in his e-mail.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.