Chris Reykdal was leading Erin Jones in the race for state superintendent of public instruction in election returns posted Wednesday.
Reykdal, a Democratic state representative from Tumwater, was ahead of Jones, a former Tacoma Public Schools administrator from Lacey, by more than two percentage points Wednesday morning.
Both candidates in the nonpartisan race are former classroom teachers. In addition to his legislative duties, Reykdal has worked for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. He gave up his state House seat to run for state superintendent.
Jones is a former assistant superintendent in the state superintendent’s office. She has also worked for the Federal Way and Spokane school districts.
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During the campaign, Reykdal drew endorsements from the Washington Education Association and other unions throughout the state. Jones had the support of several organizations that advocate for racial minority groups.
Both candidates pledged to be strong advocates for K-12 education in the ongoing legislative debate over school funding. The state Supreme Court, in its 2012 McCleary decision, said the way the state funds education is inequitable and unconstitutional. The court directed the state to correct school-funding problems by 2018.