State Representative Chris Reykdal (D‑22nd District: Olympia, Tumwater) is set to become Washington State’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction after fresh results show it’s become mathematically impossible for him to lose.
“We are up over 28,000 votes with less than 18,000 to count in our race. We have achieved a mathematical victory,” Reykdal noted in a Facebook update for backers of the campaign. “Thank you everyone for your incredible support!”
The election is due to be certified in a week, and Reykdal will formally take over for incumbent Randy Dorn in January. Opponent Erin Jones has conceded the race in one of the classiest concession messages we’ve ever seen.
It is time to concede the race for OSPI to my opponent, Chris Reykdal. He ran a great race, and I wish him all the best in his new role.
As for me, I believe there is a reason for everything. I believe the right doors will open to do the right work. I just need to be patient and listen. There have been multiple job offers, but I won’t commit to anything right away.
Thank you so much to my friends, colleagues, students, and, especially, family, for your support! Thank you for continuing to believe in me, no matter what! Thank you for being my strength when I was weak, for being my courage when I was afraid.
Thank you, most of all, for your love!
The video is even better, and we recommend watching it from start to finish.
Reykdal is the first candidate in years to jump straight from the Legislature to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Supporters say Reykdal’s legislative experience and relationships will be useful over the next few years as the Legislature grapples with McCleary compliance.
Current Superintendent Randy Dorn has been very vocal in chiding the Legislature for failing to meet the state’s paramount duty, but his demands for more school funding and an income tax have gone unheeded.
Meanwhile, his decision this year to sue seven school districts for illegally relying on levies to fund basic education was met with widespread condemnation.
Dorn is loud, but very ineffective, critics say.
Reykdal’s tenure as Superintendent promises to look rather different. Reykdal backers say he’ll be a bridge builder who will make the position of Superintendent much more relevant, particularly with respect to addressing McCleary.
(The Superintendent doesn’t have a vote on the budget like lawmakers do, and doesn’t have veto power like the Governor does, but does have a bully pulpit and can be an effective advocate for school funding.)
Reykdal is notably a father of children currently in public schools — his kids Carter and Kennedy often accompanied him on the campaign trail, demonstrating incredible patience and maturity at events their father had been invited to participate in — and has experience as a teacher and a school board member in addition to a state legislator. Reykdal’s record in the House is very progressive; he memorably voted against new tax cuts for Boeing and sponsored legislation to increase transparency and accountability of Washington’s initiative process.
The voters have now chosen him to join the state’s executive department.
We at NPI congratulate Chris on his victory and look forward to seeing him take over as Washington’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2017. We stand ready to work with Chris to ensure our paramount duty is met as quickly as possible.