The Democrat-on-Democrat contest to be the state's top schools official is competitive, at least from a fundraising perspective. Incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck reported similar sums raised, spent and in the bank, in campaign finance reports filed with the state on Thursday.
Torlakson, the teachers-union-backed incumbent, reported $194,550 in the bank, with $7,611 in debt. He raised a total of $778,335 this year, and spent $1.1 million.
Tuck, who bills himself as the "reform" candidate, also spent $1.1 million this year, and raised $814,580. He reported $179,913 in the bank, with $31,898 in debt.
The post of state superintendent of public instruction is officially a nonpartisan, but Torlakson and Tuck are both Democrats, albeit from different wings of the party. Torlakson almost hit 50% in the June primary election, which would have allowed him to escape a runoff in November.
Even if their finances stay similar, the race could hinge on outside spending by teachers' unions and those who question their power.
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