Tony Thurmond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tony Thurmond
28th California State 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 55)
Monterey, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationTemple University (BA)
Bryn Mawr College (MA, MSW)
WebsiteGovernment website

Tony Krajewski Thurmond (born August 21, 1968) is an American politician and educator 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, encompassing the northern East Bay.

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 former Superintendent Wilson Riles, former Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, and former Attorney General and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris.

Early career[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][better source needed]

Political career[edit]

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][better source needed]

Since 2004, Thurmond has pursued seven different elected offices: he ran unsuccessfully for Richmond City Council in 2004,[6] was elected to the Richmond City Council in 2006,[7] lost an election for State Assembly in 2008,[8] won an election to the West Contra Costa School Board in 2008,[9] created an exploratory committee for a potential State Senate campaign in 2009,[10] was elected to the State Assembly in 2014,[11] was re-elected to the State Assembly in 2016,[12] and announced his campaign for State Superintendent in 2017.[13]

Legislative record[edit]

Thurmond speaking at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention

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.[14] Thurmond's AB 1496 requires the California Air Resources Board to measure and reduce methane emissions to help curb greenhouse gas emissions statewide.[15] AB 1343 helps ensure due process for defendants who are immigrants; it was part of a package of legislation focused on protecting undocumented immigrants.[16] AB 768 bans use or possession of smokeless tobacco products in California's five professional baseball stadiums.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[citation needed]

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.[22]

Tony Thurmond received a score of 100% on both the Equality California[23] and California League of Conservation Voters[24] legislative score cards for 2016.

State Assembly committees[edit]

For 2015–2016, Thurmond was a member of the following committees:[25]

  • 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

State Superintendent[edit]

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.[26][27] His campaign was supported by California's teachers' unions.[28] He won the November 2018 election, beating opponent Marshall Tuck, a Democrat and charter school advocate.[28]

On December 11, 2021, Politico reported that Thurmond had been instrumental in the July 2020 hiring of longtime associate Daniel Lee, "a psychologist, life coach and self-help author", for the position of "superintendent of equity" for the California Department of Education (CDE). Politico reported that the hiring of Lee, a Philadelphia resident up to when the report was published, appeared to violate California's residency requirement for state employees, which allows for few exceptions.[29] The position was never posted publicly, having been initially funded by part of a $700,000 grant by the Hewlett Foundation through the CDE's nonprofit affiliate "Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation" before being funded by California taxpayers, and paid up to a $179,832 salary; the report said Lee's resume showed no prior experience in California or relationships with school districts in the state.[29] On December 14, 2021, Lee resigned from the position.[30]

2026 Gubernatorial Run[edit]

In September 26, 2023, Thurmond announced via Twitter, his intention to run for Governor of California in 2026.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Thurmond lives in Richmond, California.[32] He has two daughters.[32][33]

Electoral history[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


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


2018 Superintendent of Public Instruction election[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Marshall Tuck 2,223,784 37.0
Nonpartisan Tony Thurmond 2,136,919 35.6
Nonpartisan Lily Ploski 984,932 16.4
Nonpartisan Steven Ireland 658,786 11.0
Nonpartisan Marco Amaral 547,389 8.7
Nonpartisan Douglas I. Vigil (write-in) 83 0.0
Nonpartisan Thomas L. Williams (write-in) 66 0.0
Total votes 6,004,570 100.0
Superintendent of Public Instruction runoff election[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Thurmond 5,385,912 50.9
Nonpartisan Marshall Tuck 5,198,738 49.1
Total votes 10,584,650 100.0


2022 Superintendent of Public Instruction election[36][37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Thurmond (incumbent) 2,881,684 45.9
Nonpartisan Lance Christensen 745,003 11.9
Nonpartisan Ainye E. Long 699,331 11.1
Nonpartisan George Yang 694,073 11.1
Nonpartisan Marco Amaral 547,389 8.7
Nonpartisan Jim Gibson 468,078 7.5
Nonpartisan Joseph Guy Campbell 241,984 3.9
Total votes 6,277,542 100.0
Superintendent of Public Instruction runoff election[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Thurmond (incumbent) 5,681,315 63.7
Nonpartisan Lance Christensen 3,237,780 36.3
Total votes 8,919,085 100.0


  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". No. 17 Oct 2018.
  3. ^ "Tony Thurmond Wins California Democratic Party Endorsement in Landslide". 26 February 2018.
  4. ^ "CA Assembly District 15". Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Meet Tony - Tony Thurmond". Tony Thurmond. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Local election results; Contra Costa". San Francisco Chronicle. November 9, 2006.
  8. ^ Oakley, Doug (June 3, 2008). "Skinner holds lead in Assembly District 14 race". Contra Costa Times.
  9. ^ Wetzel, Kimberly S. (November 4, 2008). "West Contra Costa school board: Medrano, Thurmond win, defeating Pfeifer". Contra Costa Times.
  10. ^ Wetzel, Kim (June 22, 2008). "West County school board member mulling state Senate run". Contra Costa Times.
  11. ^ Oakley, Doug (November 5, 2014). "Assembly District 15: Tony Thurmond credits upset victory to daily precinct walks". Contra Costa Times.
  12. ^ "California District 15 State Assembly Results: Tony Thurmond Wins". The New York Times. 2017-08-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  13. ^ Resmovits, Joy. "Assemblyman Tony Thurmond enters the state superintendent for public instruction race as a Trump foe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  14. ^ "Assemblymember Tony Thurmond's First Bill Signed Into Law - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  15. ^ "Thurmond Moves California a Step toward its Environmental Goals - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Schools Are Now Tobacco-Free - Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  19. ^ Casey, Sean (17 Oct 2017). "AB435 will improve child care subsidies in Contra Costa". First 5 Contra Costa. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Thurmond's Student Absenteeism Law Generates $35 Million for Schools". Oakland Post. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Governor Signs Thurmond´s Access Free And Reduced Lunch Law". Oakland Post. 27 July 2017.
  22. ^ Corpuz, Mina (15 September 2017). "California Assembly votes to support censure of Trump over comments on Charlottesville violence". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ "EQCA Legislative Scorecard 2015" (PDF).
  24. ^ "California Environmental Scorecard". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  25. ^ "Thurmond Committees 2015–2016". California State Assembly Democratic Caucus. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  26. ^ "Thurmond Launches Campaign for State Superintendent with Major Endorsement of Senator Kamala Harris". 3 April 2017.
  27. ^ Savidge, Nico. "California superintendent candidates oppose big money from special interests". EdSource. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  28. ^ a b Cano, Ricardo (18 November 2018). "Tony Thurmond is the new schools chief. Now what?". Calmatters.
  29. ^ a b "He was hired to fix California schools — while running a business in Philadelphia". Politico. 11 December 2021.
  30. ^ "California education official resigns amid criticism over East Coast residency, hiring process". Politico. 14 December 2021.
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b "Tony Thurmond State Superintendent of Public Instruction". California Department of Education.
  33. ^ "Tony Thurmond Becomes State Superintendent of Public Instruction, first Afro Latino and second African American to Hold Job". California Department of Education. January 7, 2019.
  34. ^ "California June 7, 2022 Primary Statement of Vote" (PDF). Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  35. ^ "General Election - Statement of the Vote, November 8, 2022" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  37. ^ "Statement of Vote | June 7, 2022 Primary Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. July 15, 2022. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  38. ^ "Statement of Vote | November 8, 2022 General Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. December 15, 2022. Retrieved December 16, 2022.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by California Superintendent of Public Instruction