The highest education official in California has announced his intention to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2026.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced his candidacy for governor on Wednesday, the latest in an increasingly crowded field of candidates.
"Our campaign isn't about any one person. It's about people who are struggling across our state," Thurmond said in his campaign announcement. "California should be a place where everyone has a chance to succeed."
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Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond speaks during a news conference at Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond, California. Thurmond announced his candidacy for governor on Wednesday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The superintendent, who previously received an endorsement from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, admitted in July that he was seriously considering a run for governor, registering "Tony Thurmond for Governor 2026" that month.
Thurmond was recently accused by a school board president – Sonia Shaw – of interrupting a Chino Valley meeting, breaking its rules for a "laughable" campaign stunt. Thurmond was kicked out while being escorted by security.
Thurmond had shown up to decry policies that would inform parents about their child's mental health, including their gender status, as parents on the left and right around the country express outrage about secretive transitions in public schools.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference after meeting with students at James Denman Middle School in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
"You'll not bully us," Shaw said. "We're here because of people like you. You're… proposing things that pervert children."
In June, Thurmond announced an initiative to leverage hundreds of millions spent on textbooks to demand more current narratives.
"Many of our textbooks haven’t kept up with that diversity. This is a chance to diversify those narratives," Thurmond said.
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He continued, "This is all happening against the backdrop of where you have governors in other states literally trying to strip out any representation about race, about the experience of LGBTQ+ students… California’s going in the other direction."
Fox News Digital's Hannah Grossman contributed to this report.