1st Half Money Race: State Superintendent of Public Instruction

It’s not the most high profile race, but it does have some interesting candidates.  Gloria Romero is a state Senator, representing portions of East LA and the San Gabriel Valley. Tom Torlakson, is a long-time Bay Area politician. And then we have a political neophyte with an interesting background in education, Larry Aceves.  I’ve not heard about any Republicans jumping into this race, but it’s technically non-partisan. All candidates are in one heat in the June 2010 primary, with the top two going on to the November general if nobody exceeds 50%.

As of right now, Asm. Torlakson has a cash lead, but Sen. Romero is right behind and Mr. Aceves has done a respectable job raising money to be considered a strong candidate.

Check it out over the flip.

Larry Aceves

Let’s start with the newbie. Aceves is a long-time educator, in jobs ranging from teacher all the way up to superintendent. He’s made talking to stakeholders a priority of his campaign. But judging from the fundraising numbers, he’s not ignored that portion.  And this seems to be a grassroots effort, as most of his contributions have been on the small side, and many of them have been from educators. If he keeps up this level of fundraising, it would not be all that surprising to see him sneak into the run-off in November while the electeds focus on each other.

Contributions: $207,854.51

Cash On Hand: $144,799.22

Gloria Romero

Romero is a long-standing elected official, rising from a Community College Trustee to state senator.  She’s been known for advocating for some tough policies, such as sentencing reform. Recently, she’s turned much of her legislative focus to the educational realm, and has some significant accomplishments in that area. But, while she did avoid some of the worst budget votes, she did vote for much of the package.

Contributions: $134,566.15

Cash on Hand: $187,395.34

Tom Torlakson

Torlakson has also been in every position in politics from the East Bay. He was a Supervisor a ways back, and then moved up to the state level. He served in the Assembly for four years, the Senate for 8, and now is in his last term in the Assembly.  He’s focused a lot of his legislative efforts on education, and has been pretty productive in local governance issues.  On the other hand, he was a pretty solid vote on the budget. That may come to haunt him later.

Much of his contributions, over $356,000, come from a transfer from his assembly account. So this number should be taken with a grain of salt. His actual contributions this period were about $190,000.  Even with his cash advantage, nobody is really running away with this race because of money. Considering Torlakson’s burn rate so far, it’s still questionable how long he will have a cash lead.

Contributions: $545,807.00

Cash on hand: $349,283.80

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