DECISION 2014: Torlakson Takes Early Lead In Schools Chief Race

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Incumbent Tom Torlakson has taken an early lead in the hotly contested race for California’s elected superintendent of schools.

With more than 2 million votes counted and millions more yet to be tallied, early returns from Tuesday’s nonpartisan election showed Torlakson leading challenger Marshall Tuck 54 percent to 46 percent.

Torlakson is a former high school science teacher and state lawmaker who was elected as the state’s K-12 schools chief four years ago.

Tuck is a former charter schools executive who built his campaign around reforming the state’s generous tenure laws and other job protections for teachers. Both candidates are Democrats.

Spending in the race has exceeded $22 million, making it the most expensive election for a statewide office this year apart from the governor’s race.

The outcome is being watched outside California as a referendum on the state’s underachieving education system.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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