Tony Thurmond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tony Thurmond
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (cropped).jpg
28th California Superintendent of Public Instruction
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
GovernorGavin Newsom
Preceded byTom Torlakson
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 15th district
In office
December 1, 2014 – November 30, 2018
Preceded byNancy Skinner
Succeeded byBuffy Wicks
Personal details
Tony Krajewski Thurmond

(1968-08-21) August 21, 1968 (age 50)
Monterey, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Children2 daughters
EducationTemple University (BA)
Bryn Mawr College (MA, MSW)

Tony K. Thurmond (born August 21, 1968) is an American educator and politician who is the 28th and current California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Thurmond was narrowly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2018 over his opponent, Marshall Tuck.[1] He was the endorsed candidate of the California Democratic Party and all five 2018 California Teachers of the Year.[2][3] A Democrat, he represented the 15th Assembly District from 2014 to 2018. The district encompasses the northern East Bay. The district includes the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland, including Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante and Kensington.

Thurmond was a member of the California Legislative Latino Caucus, California Legislative Black Caucus, and California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, he was a member of the Richmond City Council, a Board Member of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, and social services administrator.

Thurmond is the second African American to hold the office of Superintendent, and the fourth African American to win statewide office in California following Wilson Riles, Mervyn Dymally and Kamala Harris.

Early life and education[edit]

Thurmond was born in Monterey, California. He lived in San Jose, California, where he was raised by a single mother, a teacher from Panama. Tony's mother died of cancer in 1974, when Tony was 6. He then moved to Philadelphia, where he was adopted and raised by his cousin and stepfather, both campus police officers active in union life.

He is a graduate of Temple University (B.A. in Psychology), where he was student body president. He earned dual master's degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work (MSW) from Bryn Mawr College.

Social service[edit]

Thurmond has held positions with several nonprofit social service organizations. In the mid-2000s, Thurmond was the Executive Director of Beyond Emancipation, a social service agency providing aftercare services to youths leaving the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Alameda County. At the Golden Gate Regional Center, he was a program manager leading service provision to individuals with developmental disabilities. In 2012 he began to serve as the Senior Director of Community and Government Relations at Lincoln Child Center. Much of his social service work has focused on improving service provision to current and former foster youth and directing educational programs that provided job training to at-risk youth in the East Bay area.[4]

Thurmond has served as an advisor to the Richmond Youth Commission. He was chair of Richmond's 2005 Summer Youth Program which employed 200 local teens. Thurmond has been a Fellow in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Children and Family Fellowship program.

Elective office[edit]

Thurmond's first experience in elected office was as president of the student body at Temple University.

Before being elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, Thurmond was a member of the West Contra Costa School Board from 2008 to 2012 and the Richmond City Council from 2005 to 2008. Thurmond was the council liaison to the West Contra Costa County Unified School District and the West Contra Costa County Education Fund. He also served as council liaison to Richmond's Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board.[5] He was a member of the Family and Children's Trust Committee of Contra Costa County.

Thurmond ran first for the District 15 Assembly seat in 2008, coming in second out of four candidates. He ran again in 2014, this time winning 54.3% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2016 with 89.4% of the vote. Thurmond is a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

On April 3, 2017, Thurmond launched his campaign for State Superintendent, choosing not to run for re-election for his seat in the State Assembly.[6][7]

Over the last fourteen years, Thurmond has pursued 7 different elected offices: he ran unsuccessfully for Richmond City Council in 2004,[8] was elected to the Richmond City Council in 2006,[9] lost an election for State Assembly in 2008,[10] won an election to the West Contra Costa School Board in 2008,[11] created an exploratory committee for a potential State Senate campaign in 2009,[12] was elected to the State Assembly in 2014,[13] was re-elected to the State Assembly in 2016,[14] and announced his campaign for State Superintendent in 2017.[15]

Legislative record[edit]

Thurmond's first bill to be signed into law was AB 1375, which increases the rate of credit for time served incarcerated in lieu of paying court fines. This credit had not been adjusted since its inception in 1976; this bill adjusts it for inflation and the minimum wage.[16] Thurmond's AB 1496 requires the California Air Resources Board to measure and reduce methane emissions to help curb greenhouse gas emissions statewide.[17] AB 1343 helps ensure due process for defendants who are immigrants; it was part of a package of legislation focused on protecting undocumented immigrants.[18] AB 768 bans use or possession of smokeless tobacco products in California's five professional baseball stadiums.[19] AB 2X-9, the Tobacco-Free Schools Act, co-authored by Thurmond and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, bans tobacco use on all school district-owned or school-leased property. This bill also mandates that schools post signs reading "tobacco use is prohibited" at entrances.[20]

Thurmond's legislation AB 435 was the first piece of legislation sponsored by the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission. The bill was signed by Governor Brown and provides more subsidies to early childcare services for low-income families in multiple California counties.[21] Thurmond's legislation AB 1014 moved $35 million from the California prison system directly to local school districts to invest in programs to reduce truancy.[22] Another bill of Thurmond's, AB 1502, reduced paperwork to provide free and reduced lunch to more eligible California students. Previously, only 63% of eligible students were matched to the free and reduced lunch program.[23]

As Chair of the Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, Thurmond helped secure resources in the California State Budget for county welfare offices for Medi-Cal eligibility administration, caregiver resource centers, medical clinics to extend urgent care hours, an HIV prevention outreach program, syringe exchange programs and mental health advocacy especially for veterans, youth and racial and ethnic minorities.

On September 15, 2017, Thurmond introduced a resolution in the California State Assembly calling for the Congressional censure of President Donald Trump following his remarks after racially charged events in Charlottesville.[24]

Tony Thurmond received a score of 100% on both the Equality California[25] and California League of Conservation Voters[26] legislative score cards for 2016.

State Assembly Committees[edit]

Thurmond's State Assembly committee assignments reflect his legislative priorities, informed by his prior public service, nonprofit social service leadership and academic training.[27]

  • Labor and Employment Committee, Chair
  • Education Committee
  • Health Committee
  • Human Services Committee

Select committees[edit]

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, Chair
  • Status of Boys and Men of Color
  • Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 15th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Echols 21,664 31.1
Democratic Tony Thurmond 16,963 24.4
Democratic Pamela Price 11,898 17.1
Republican Rich Kinney 7,531 10.8
Democratic Sam Kang 4,630 6.7
Democratic Clarence Hunt 3,329 4.8
Peace and Freedom Eugene E. Ruyle 2,426 3.5
No party preference Bernt Rainer Wahl 1,132 1.6
Total votes 69,573 100.0
General election
Democratic Tony Thurmond 66,661 54.3
Democratic Elizabeth Echols 56,071 45.7
Total votes 122,732 100.0
Democratic hold

2016 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 15th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tony Thurmond (incumbent) 124,136 91.1
Republican Claire Chiara 12,083 8.9
Total votes 136,219 100.0
General election
Democratic Tony Thurmond (incumbent) 189,530 89.4
Republican Claire Chiara 22,528 10.6
Total votes 212,058 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

Thurmond lives in Richmond, California. He has two daughters.


  1. ^ Gammon, Robert. "Tony Thurmond Wins State Superintendent of Schools Race", East Bay Express. November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "California's 5 Statewide Teachers of the Year for 2018 Endorse Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent" (17 Oct 2018).
  3. ^ "Tony Thurmond Wins California Democratic Party Endorsement in Landslide".
  4. ^ "CA Assembly District 15". Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Meet Tony - Tony Thurmond". Tony Thurmond. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Savidge, Nico. "California superintendent candidates oppose big money from special interests". EdSource. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  8. ^ Tascio, Liz (August 15, 2004). "Political races should be full of character; Contra County County's ballot shows well-known names and familiar faces hot issues mark dramatic election for candidates". Contra Costa Times.
  9. ^ "Local election results; Contra Costa". San Francisco Chronicle. November 9, 2006.
  10. ^ Oakley, Doug (June 3, 2008). "Skinner holds lead in Assembly District 14 race". Contra Costa Times.
  11. ^ Wetzel, Kimberly S. (November 4, 2008). "West Contra Costa school board: Medrano, Thurmond win, defeating Pfeifer". Contra Costa Times.
  12. ^ Wetzel, Kim (June 22, 2008). "West County school board member mulling state Senate run". Contra Costa Times.
  13. ^ Oakley, Doug (November 5, 2014). "Assembly District 15: Tony Thurmond credits upset victory to daily precinct walks". Contra Costa Times.
  14. ^ "California District 15 State Assembly Results: Tony Thurmond Wins". The New York Times. 2017-08-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  15. ^ Resmovits, Joy. "Assemblyman Tony Thurmond enters the state superintendent for public instruction race as a Trump foe". Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  16. ^ "Assemblymember Tony Thurmond's First Bill Signed Into Law - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  17. ^ "Thurmond Moves California a Step toward its Environmental Goals - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  18. ^ "Thurmond Bill To Ensure Due Process for Immigrant Defendants Signed Into Law - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  19. ^ "A Homerun for the Kids: Smokeless Tobacco Banned from Professional Baseball Stadiums - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  20. ^ "Schools Are Now Tobacco-Free - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  21. ^ Casey, Sean (17 Oct 2017). "AB435 will improve child care subsidies in Contra Costa". First 5 Contra Costa. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Thurmond's Student Absenteeism Law Generates $35 Million for Schools". Oakland Post. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Governor Signs Thurmond´s Access Free And Reduced Lunch Law". Oakland Post. 27 July 2017.
  24. ^ Corpuz, Mina (15 September 2017). "California Assembly votes to support censure of Trump over comments on Charlottesville violence". Los Angeles Times.
  25. ^ "EQCA Legislative Scorecard 2015" (PDF).
  26. ^ "California Environmental Scorecard". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  27. ^ "CA Assembly District 15". Retrieved January 17, 2015.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Torlakson
California Superintendent of Public Instruction