California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is “critically exploring” operating for governor in 2026.
The state’s high colleges chief made the announcement on Wednesday night after forming a marketing campaign committee.
Thurmond, a former state legislator who was first elected superintendent in 2018, stated he’s “totally targeted” on his present job however will start the method of doubtless operating for governor.
“Working households throughout California are going through so many challenges that require our complete state authorities working collectively to resolve,” Thurmond stated in a press release. “Rising up as a Black and Latino child with out my mother and father, I lived the struggles that so many Californians face daily — that’s why I devoted my profession to preventing for a brighter future for California’s kids.”
Thurmond, a Democrat whose workplace is nonpartisan, didn’t shrink back from politics in his announcement, saying he has been “taking up MAGA extremists.”
Final month, he and state Democrats launched a job pressure to watch textbook publishers amid studies of guide banning in purple states, doubling down on California’s dedication to various and inclusive schooling.
The previous Bay Space Meeting member coasted to reelection in 2022 towards Republican challenger Lance Christensen, with almost 64% of the vote.
His win got here regardless of criticism of his dealing with of pandemic faculty closures and controversies together with a staff turnover problem within the Division of Training and the hiring of out-of-state officials, which led to resignations.
A proposed constitutional modification launched this 12 months might make it in order that future state superintendents are appointed by the governor slightly than elected, a transfer that comes after a lot debate about Thurmond’s affect, with critics saying he has not carried out sufficient in his function overseeing almost 6 million public faculty college students.
However Thurmond has had the backing of highly effective endorsements prior to now, together with the California Democratic Celebration, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).
Newsom’s time period ends in 2027. Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat, has additionally introduced an early bid for governor.