CFA-endorsed candidates succeed at the polls

Faculty advocacy on behalf of pro-Labor candidates made an impact at the polls on Tuesday, as many CFA-endorsed candidates, including Gavin Newsom and Tony Thurmond, will advance to the November general election.

Lt. Gov. Newsom, who faced off against 26 other candidates in a race to become the state’s next governor, was the front-runner Tuesday, having secured 33.3 percent of the vote. In November, he will run against Republican John Cox, who received 26.2 percent of the vote, according to election results posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

Thurmond was among four candidates vying for Superintendent of Public Instruction, and will run against charter school booster Marshall Tuck in the general election.

Both the governor and the superintendent of public instruction are Ex Officio Trustees on the CSU Board of Trustees.

“We will continue to be unwavering advocates of Gavin Newsom and Tony Thurmond, because they are champions for public higher education and are committed to helping us improve the CSU,” CFA President Jennifer Eagan said. “As Ex Officio members of the CSU Board of Trustees, they would continue to advocate for faculty and students and make decisions that will improve our university system for years to come. We are thrilled that they succeeded in the primary, and will continue our unwavering support as we move toward the general election.”

Newsom has repeatedly called for increased funding for the California State University, broader access to the public higher education, and a CSU campus in Stockton.

In a forum with EdSource, Newsom that his first budget would include “a significant increase in funding for the UC and CSU systems to avoid further tuition hikes.”

“It has been nothing less than devastating to watch the state’s disinvestment from public higher education, and with it, stripping a generation of Californians of an opportunity those before them enjoyed,” he said. “State support was slashed by one-third after the Great Recession. We’re just now achieving pre-recession funding levels but we’re also educating thousands more students. We must do better.”

State funding constraints have had a grave impact on the CSU, and have led to diminished access for the state’s qualified high school graduates and community college transfer students. Last year, more than 31,000 qualified students were denied a spot in the CSU.

CFA has been fighting for additional funding for the CSU to help improve access and affordability of public higher ed, and maintain the high-quality education provided by a CSU education. The union also been vocal in highlighting the racial disparities undercutting state funding and policy decisions, noting that as the CSU student population has grown increasingly diverse, funding has become significantly lighter.

In other election news, CFA member Mike Eng, a former Assemblymember who teaches at Cal State LA, also successfully advanced to the general election. Eng will run against Baldwin Park Councilwoman Susan Rubio for the 22nd Senate District seat, which was previously held by termed-out Sen. Ed Hernandez. As more election results become available in the coming weeks, we’ll post more information regarding how CFA-endorsed candidates did here.

To all our CFA colleagues who helped our CFA-endorsed candidates succeed during the primary election, THANK YOU! Your advocacy and efforts are appreciated, and made a big impact.