Sarah Favot for LA School Report | August 7, 2017
The election is 10 months away, but the two candidates for the state superintendent of schools have together raised nearly $2 million.
Marshall Tuck, who narrowly lost the 2014 contest against Tom Torlakson, leads in fundraising, reporting $1.2 million in contributions from Jan. 1 through June 30, according to the latest reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. Torlakson was elected in 2010 and can’t run again due to term limits.
Among Tuck’s donors are people who have supported education reform and charter schools including former LA Mayor Richard Riordan, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Alice and Jim Walton of Walmart, Eli and Edythe Broad of The Broad Foundation, Reed Hastings of Netflix, and Doris Fisher of The Gap.
Tuck’s past jobs include CEO of Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit formed by former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that runs struggling district schools. He was also president of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school network in LA. Tuck was the first candidate to enter the race in March.
Tony Thurmond, a state assemblyman from Northern California, raised about $550,000 in the same period. Thurmond received $896,493 through his campaign account for the state superintendent seat, which includes a $536,000 transfer from his state Assembly account. The Assembly account raised $199,000 in the same filing period.
Thurmond, who is in his second term representing Richmond in the East San Francisco Bay, declared his candidacy a month later. Both are Democrats. Tuck is supported by education reformers, while Thurmond has the support of teachers unions, a common battle line in education races.
Thurmond is from Northern California, while Tuck lives in Los Angeles, another common divide in statewide races in California.
Thurmond has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Federation of Teachers, and Torlakson.
Thurmond’s contributions include donations from numerous trades and labor unions PACs, like Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 467 and State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and colleagues in the Assembly like Anthony Rendon and Lorena Gonzalez.
“I am humbled and motivated by the support I have received so early in my campaign,” said Thurmond said in a news release. “Californians are deeply concerned for the future of our education system, especially given the anti-public school agenda of President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. As a father of two daughters in public schools, I’m committed to funding and improving public education to ensure that all of California’s kids can succeed in a 21st-century economy.”