Chris Reykdal leads in race for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Nov 3, 2020, 8:43 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2020, 4:45 pm

Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Chris Reykdal (L) and Maia Espinoza (R)....

Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Chris Reykdal (L) and Maia Espinoza (R).


In what has become somewhat of a closely watched local race, Chris Reykdal is leading with 56% of the vote in early results for Washington state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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Incumbent Chris Reykdal led in Primary election results, taking 41% of the vote. Challenger Maia Espinoza was the next highest vote-getter at 24%, putting her on the November ballot. On Tuesday night, she held 43% of the vote and held that percentage on Wednesday.

The position of Superintendent of Public Instruction is non-partisan. It is a four-year term.

Reykdal was first elected to superintendent in 2016 by a narrow margin. His elected experience includes serving as a local school board director and as a legislator. His professional experience includes being a classroom teacher, budget and finance executive, and a fiscal analyst for the Washington State Senate.

Reykdal’s statement in the voters’ guide says he is the first superintendent in more than 30 years to have kids in public school during his service. Espinoza also has kids in public schools.

Espinoza does not have political experience, which she wrote in her voters’ guide could bring “a much-needed new perspective to our school system.” She has professional experience as a business owner and school teacher, according to the voters’ guide, and was part of the OSPI Student Data Task Force.

Aside from planning for an eventual return to in-person learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making sure every student can be connected remotely in the meantime, the big focus in this race has been on the comprehensive sexual education curriculum. It was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee and supported by Reykdal. Espinoza has voiced opposition to this curriculum.

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Chris Reykdal leads in race for Superintendent of Public Instruction