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Tony Thurmond

CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño and Tony Thurmond, candidate for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Photo: Mike Myslinski

In California’s June 5 primary election, voters sided with students and public education by voting for teacher-supported Gavin Newsom for governor and East Bay Assembly Member Tony Thurmond for state superintendent of public instruction. Their success came despite corporate billionaires pouring in an unprecedented $30.8 million for their opponents — candidates committed to pushing their agenda to privatize public schools, divert taxpayer dollars from neighborhood public schools to privately run charter schools and stripping educators of their rights.


Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom

(Left to right) California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Sen. Kamala Harris, gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom during a Democratic rally ahead of the June 5 primary.

“Newsom’s clear victory shows that California’s democratic process is not for sale,” said CTA President Eric Heins. “Voters rejected the school privatization agenda of the billionaires supporting Antonio Villaraigosa and showed their support of providing a free, public education to all students regardless of their ZIP code. And by supporting Thurmond for the November runoff, voters agreed that he is the one who will make our students and schools a top priority and continue to fight for the rights and future of all educators.” Under California’s primary election rules, the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the November general election. Newsom will face Republican John Cox, and Thurmond will square off against Tuck in the November runoff. “Educators are excited that a champion of our public schools is on the path now to become our next governor,” said Heins of Newsom’s strong showing at the polls. “Like educators, he believes that California must invest more in our schools because they’re the key to opportunity and a good life for all students.” Heins added that Newsom shares educators’ values and believes in transparency and accountability at all California schools.

“The choice in November’s general election has never been so stark and compelling.” – CTA President Eric Heins

“Newsom has seen the fraud and waste in privately run charter schools and will hold all schools to the same standards. He knows that, with investment and ongoing innovations, our public schools will continue to be community centers instead of the profit centers that some billionaires want to continue to exploit. John Cox shares President Trump and Betsy DeVos’ divisive and destructive agenda for our schools and communities. The choice in November’s general election has never been so stark and compelling.” Heins said Tony Thurmond also shares educators’ values in ensuring all students have the quality public schools and colleges they need and deserve.

“Thurmond knows first-hand the power of public education in transforming the lives of students,” Heins said. “His personal experience shapes his legislative record of advocacy on issues like the teacher shortage, school-based mental health programs, affordable housing for educators, and on keeping kids in school and out of the criminal justice system.”

Other CTA-recommended candidates (names in bold) did well in statewide races and move on to the November election: • Ed Hernandez will face Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor • Alex Padilla will face Mark Meuser for Secretary of State • Betty Yee will face Konstantinos Roditis for State Controller • Fiona Ma will face Greg Conlon for State Treasurer • Xavier Becerra will face Steven Bailey for Attorney General • Ricardo Lara will face Steve Poizner for Insurance Commissioner

For election and voter information, and updates on CTA-recommended candidates, see

Photo caption: Gavin Newsom thanks supporters on primary election night, June 5, 2018.