Thurmond Pulls Ahead in Race for California Chief of Schools

The race for Californian schools chief remains too close to call but, by Wednesday evening, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) had pulled ahead in the race by 74,930 votes. Thurmond now leads Marshall Tuck 50.5% to 49.5%.

Millions of ballots still have to be counted. However, the race clearly seems to be turning in Thurmond’s favor.

“Ever since county election officials began tallying the uncounted ballots last week, Thurmond has outpaced Tuck in the vote count,” EdSource’s Louis Freedberg writes. “Each day he has cut into Tuck’s lead substantially, and has now overtaken him.”

Tuck initially led in post-election day results by about 86,000 votes. But his advantage began slipping away as soon as provisional and mail-in ballots began coming in.

Thurmond and Tuck are both vying to replace termed-out California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. The contest saw a record $60 million in spending, along with bitter attack ads by both campaigns.

Both Tuck and Thurmond are democrats who share key visions when it comes to education. The main issue dividing the two men is charter schools. The lines were drawn early on, with teachers’ unions backing Thurmond and charter school advocates backing Tuck.