The Tony Thurmond for Superintendent for Public Instruction 2018 campaign has called on Marshall Tuck and his supporters to take down TV advertisements that spread false information about Tony Thurmond. The California Hawaii NAACP and California Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Christine Pelosi and Southern Chair Carolyn Fowler also called on Tuck and his supporters to taken down the ads.

“Marshall Tuck’s billionaire supporters are lying about Tony Thurmond’s record in false attack ads intended to mislead California voters,” said Madeline Franklin, Thurmond’s campaign manager. “The truth is Tony improved school safety, facilities, and student performance in a historically high-need school district. Marshall Tuck knows this and has acknowledged this in debates. His supporters should immediately remove the ads and publicly apologize.”

CA-HI NAACP President Alice Huffman wrote:

“The NAACP has long fought back against racism in campaigning. Blowing the racist dog whistle in politics is shameful. This disgraceful practice against black candidates unfortunately has a long and shameful history.  That this would happen in California in 2018 is deeply disturbing. It appears you have chosen to follow President Trump’s playbook of using lies and fake news to smear prominent leaders of color.”

CA Democratic Party Women’s Caucus Chair Christine Pelosi and Southern Chair Carolyn Fowler said:

“As mothers of daughters, we don’t want a person willing to weaponize children’s trauma for personal gain to make decisions about our children’s education and well being. The bottom line is, Marshall Tuck has repeatedly fed this baseless narrative, while laying the foundation for his supporters to use. What’s even more shameful is that Tuck has been called out for weaponizing students’ pain before and has done nothing to change his campaign’s tactics.”

Thurmond has previously criticized Tuck for making disparaging statements about the West Contra Costa Unified School District, where Thurmond served as a school board member for 4 years. During that entire time Thurmond served as chair of the Safety Committee and helped create new safety protocols, improved training for campus security officers and school resource officers across the 5 cities in the school district, and provided a number of sexual assault and harassment prevention trainings to students and staff. Thurmond led an effort that reduced suspensions by 27% in one year in the district, and graduation rates and student test scores improved for all groups.

If elected, Thurmond would be the first African American Superintendent of Public Instruction in more than three decades. Thurmond is credited with moving $35 million from prisons to schools to invest in restorative justice and truancy prevention. He has also helped to deliver $100 million for special education and $1 billion for early education. Thurmond is endorsed by Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democratic Party, and Planned Parenthood.