Capitol Alert

Rhee promises vote for Tuck...Oh, wait

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and wife Michelle Rhee respond to cheers from the sold out crowd on Wednesday night, October 30, 2013.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and wife Michelle Rhee respond to cheers from the sold out crowd on Wednesday night, October 30, 2013. jvillegas@sacbee.com

State schools chief challenger Marshall Tuck can count on one less vote come Nov. 4.

At a voter information event Monday night hosted by Indivizible, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s African American community empowerment group, Michelle Rhee, the controversial education advocate and Johnson’s wife, encouraged attendees to support Tuck.

“Since Indivizible is a nonprofit organization, we cannot tell you who to vote for,” Rhee told the crowd. “I am going to tell you who my husband and I will be voting for.”

“I don’t even know,” Johnson joked.

“He follows my advice on this one,” she said. “But we will both be voting for Marshall Tuck.”

Trouble is, Rhee can’t vote for Tuck, or any other candidate in California because she’s registered to vote in Tennessee, where her ex-husband and kids live.

Francisco Castillo, spokesman for Rhee’s advocacy group, StudentsFirst, offered an explanation.

“Most of the people who attended the Indivizible meeting know that Michelle spends half her time in Nashville,” he wrote in a statement. “She was passionately expressing her strong support for Tuck.”

“Regardless, she believes that he is a new and exciting voice in Sacramento,” Castillo continued, “and will continue to strongly support Tuck’s efforts to build a first-class educational system for California’s students.”

On Monday, Rhee said she has known Tuck for many years and been a longtime supporter. StudentsFirst endorsed him earlier this year.

Rhee and Tuck both support policies to overhaul public education, such as charter schools and the use of test scores in teacher evaluations, that have made them frequent targets of teachers unions.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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