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CSEA member mobilization leads important victories in November Election


Election Day resulted in important victories for California’s public schools as pro-education lawmakers were elected to state constitutional offices and to the Legislature. Numerous CSEA members and staff were also elected to local school boards and other offices.

CSEA volunteers were key to the success of many candidates as they mobilized and worked tirelessly during the months leading up to Election Day. Members walked precincts, made phone calls and informed their communities about the importance of electing legislators who care about our students.

“Once again CSEA members showed how activism and mobilization lead to good results,” Association President Michael Bilbrey said. “I want to thank everyone for working to inform voters about the candidates and the issues. Now we can continue to move education forward in California.”

Gov. Jerry Brown was re-elected as anticipated. He received nearly 59 percent of the vote.

Torlakson wins tight race
The race that CSEA and educators statewide were watching closely was the contest for California Superintendent of Public Instruction. In the weeks leading up to the election, the polls showed CSEA-endorsed incumbent Tom Torlakson and Wall Street banker Marshall Tuck were neck and neck as Tuck’s campaign had used a huge influx of cash from corporate interests to try to deceive voters. In the end, incumbent Tom Torlakson, a longtime friend of CSEA who helped restore funding to education, came out victorious receiving 52 percent of the vote.

“We knew that when Californians look for direction on how to improve education they don't look to Wall Street,” Torlakson said on his Facebook page. “They look to the people who are in the schools in their neighborhood every day—the teachers, the school employees, the teacher's aides, the nurses, the counselors.”

Yee elected as State Controller
CSEA's endorsed candidate Betty Yee won election to the office of State Controller. This race is important to CSEA members because the Controller automatically gets a seat on the CalPERS Board, which oversees classified employees’ pensions and votes on healthcare plans and rates for our members. Yee has been vocal in her fight to protect pensions for all workers, especially public employees. 

CSEA Candidates sweep State Constitutional Offices
All of the CSEA-supported candidates for state constitutional office were victorious in the election. In addition to Brown, Torlakson and Yee — Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Treasurer John Chiang, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. 

CSEA members worked especially hard to campaign for Richard Pan, who won an upset victory over his opponent for the 6th Senate District in Sacramento. 

“Thank you to an incredible team of volunteers and campaign staff and a broad coalition of supporters that shared my story with the voters in the district,” Pan wrote on his Facebook page.

CSEA supported two ballot propositions on the ballot. Prop. 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, was passed by voters. Prop. 45, Health Insurance Rate Regulation, did not pass.

Pro-labor / Pro-education majority dips in Legislature
While CSEA-supported candidates in the Legislature won most of their elections, there were a few losses. The pro-labor, pro-education majority fell below two-thirds in both the State Senate and the Assembly. However, CSEA-supported candidates still hold a comfortable majority in both houses.

Complete (unofficial) election results for CSEA-endorsed candidates

View election results page from the California Secretary of State

CSEA Voter Guide


  Jerry Brown
Governor has made public education a priority again.

Under Gov. Brown's leadership California has gotten back on track, making public education a priority again.

  Tom Torlakson
Schools Chief understands value of classified employees.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is a longtime friend to classified school employees. 


  Betty Yee
As Controller, she will work to safeguard your pension benefits.

Betty Yee has been vocal in her fight to protect pensions for all workers. As State Controller, she automatically gets a seat on the CalPERS Board, which oversees classified employees’ pensions and votes on health care plans and rates for our members.