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With State Leaders at DNC, Torlakson Left in Charge

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SACRAMENTO -- Tom Torlakson is having a busy week.

"I have two jobs right now," Torlakson said.

On top of his role as state Superintendent of Public Instruction, he's running California.

On his second day as Acting Governor, Torlakson led staffers and community members on a walk around the state Capitol, encouraging people to get active.

FOX40 spoke to him about his rare opportunity.

"This is the first time it's happened," Torlakson said.

It happened thanks to the Democratic National Convention.

The governor, lieutenant governor, senate president, assembly speaker, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and controller have all left California.

"It allows us to learn from a person who cares about our kids," said Ciran Villavicencio, chair of the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs.

Torlakson is using his temporary title to spread awareness about the state's teacher shortage.

He's also declared a state of emergency for the Sand and Soberanes wildfires burning in Los Angeles and Monterey counties.

"I'm gonna be traveling tonight to be there tomorrow morning to meet with the firefighters, meet with the relief crews, the evacuation centers most of those are school sites," Torlakson said.

A busy schedule for the state's top teacher; a man who suddenly has the power to make big decisions.

"He does but we work very closely with the governor so we would never do anything the governor doesn't want us to do," said Bill Ainsworth, Director of Communications for the California Department of Education.

Torlakson will be acting governor until Thursday afternoon when Governor Jerry Brown returns to California.