Spending in the campaign for state superintendent of public instruction in California is expected to break records once again this fall, as charter school advocates and labor organizations focus on the race.
Although the Nov. 6 ballot will include races for governor and U.S. Senate, it is the nonpartisan contest between Democrats — Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond and Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive — for an office with limited power that is expected to attract the most money during the general election.
With seven weeks to go before Election Day, fundraising for Tuck has already surpassed what his supporters raised in the former school administrator’s unsuccessful run for superintendent four years ago.
“This is going to be the most expensive election, period,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Thurmond is a former social worker, school board member and council member in Richmond. Tuck is the former president of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school organization based in Los Angeles, and CEO of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a district-city initiative that runs 18 district schools.
Tuck will benefit from $10.8 million raised by an independent expenditure committee backing him as of Monday, compared to $4.9 million raised by an independent committee supporting Thurmond.