- Union-backed incumbent Tom Torlakson beat former Green Dot charter schools president Marshall Tuck in the race for California's superintendent of public instruction.
- With 99% of the state's precincts reported in, the final vote was 52.1% for Torlakson and 47.9% for Tuck.
- The tight race was California's most-watched, as the two opponents represented vastly different education platforms.
In his acceptance speech, Torlakson took a jab at Tuck, saying, "It looks like tonight is a win for the people who do more than talk about improving education -- tonight is a win for the people who do something about it." The race was extremely important, as the two candidates, while both Democrats, had very different visions for California's education landscape. Tuck, who is connected to education reform advocates like Eli Broad, had a standard "education reform" platform that favored pushing charter school expansion. He also agreed with the controversial decision in Vergara v. California, which ruled that the state's teacher tenure laws were unconstitutional. Torlakson, a former teacher, on the other hand, had the backing of the state's teacher unions and represents a vision that empowers traditional public schools. Additionally, he has been very vocal in his disagreement with Vergara and his support for an appeal.