California education chief Tony Thurmond has announced his bid for governor in 2026. If elected, Thurmond would be the first Black person to become California’s governor. He aims to address income inequality, improve school funding, and accelerate the state’s transition to renewable energy. Thurmond joins a crowded race for governor, which includes Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, former state Controller Betty Yee, and Attorney General Rob Bonta. Current Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is unable to seek a third term.
California education chief Tony Thurmond announces bid for governor in 2026
California’s top education official, Tony Thurmond, has announced his candidacy for governor in 2026. Thurmond, if elected, would become the first Black person to hold the position. He has outlined his goals of tackling income inequality, improving school funding, and expediting the state’s transition to renewable energy. Thurmond joins a competitive race for governor, with other Democratic candidates vying for the position. Incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, is unable to run for a third term.
Addressing key issues and promoting equity
Thurmond’s campaign focuses on addressing income inequality, ensuring adequate funding for schools, and advancing renewable energy in California. He aims to create a state where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. As California’s top education official, Thurmond has been involved in debates over school board policies, including the notification of parents regarding their child’s pronouns or gender identity. His support for a bill banning the rejection of textbooks that teach about diverse communities exemplifies his commitment to promoting equity in education.
A competitive race for governor
Thurmond joins a crowded field of Democratic candidates running for governor in 2026. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, former state Controller Betty Yee, and Attorney General Rob Bonta have also announced their bids. The election is still more than three years away, but the race is already shaping up to be highly contested. With Governor Newsom unable to seek another term, the outcome of the election will determine the future leadership of California.