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‘Blue Wave’ Helps Push Thurmond to Victory in California Schools Chief Race

On election night, things did not look good for Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, in his bid to become California’s next state superintendent of public instruction.

His opponent Marshall Tuck had markedly outspent him both in direct contributions to his campaign and in television ads and other activities funded by outside committees by a more than 2-to-1 margin. In late night election day returns, Tuck led by nearly 86,000 votes.

But millions of votes had yet to be counted — mostly in mail-in and provisional ballots — and these contained the votes that quickly erased Tuck’s lead, and pushed Thurmond to victory on Saturday.

Thurmond’s come-from-behind win represents a major victory for teachers unions and their allies — and an equally major defeat for charter school advocates attempting to elect someone they hoped would  be more sympathetic to their cause.