Capitol Alert

Tuck concedes in California schools chief race; Padilla, Yee win statewide posts

State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Marshall Tuck, left, talks to a market goer Kathleen Sweeney, 65, at the Culver City Farmers Market on election day Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Culver City, Calif.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Marshall Tuck, left, talks to a market goer Kathleen Sweeney, 65, at the Culver City Farmers Market on election day Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Culver City, Calif. Associated Press

Marshall Tuck conceded defeat Wednesday in the race for state superintendent of public instruction, losing to incumbent Tom Torlakson following a hugely expensive campaign in which outside interests spent nearly $15 million in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election.

“Sixteen months ago we set out on this journey to do one thing: put children first and ensure that every child has equal access to a quality education. And despite yesterday’s loss, I couldn’t be prouder of the unique coalition of parents, community leaders, teachers, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents we built along the way,” Tuck said in a statement that did not mention Torlakson.

“Together we proved that in California there is a growing call for change and that parents, kids and families can have a voice in education,” he said.

Tuck’s statement came several hours after Torlakson declared victory.

The schools chief post is the only nonpartisan statewide post. In other contests, Republicans fell short for two offices in which they were given an outside chance at victory: The Associated Press called the controller’s race for Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a Democrat, who defeated Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno.

In the race for secretary of state, state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, defeated Republican Pete Peterson, the director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University.

“Just off phone congratulating @SenAlexPadilla,” Peterson posted on Twitter a short while ago. “Now we both return to work on improving civic partic in a state that desp needs it.#capolitics.”

Minutes later, Padilla posted, “Thank you, California! Honored to be your next Secretary of State.”

Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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