SAN DIEGO — Incumbent Tony Thurmond has won the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Associated Press projects.

Thurmond had garnered nearly 63% of the vote compared to his challenger Lance Christensen’s 37%, according to election results as of Wednesday afternoon.

The nonpartisan position serves as the top elected official for the state’s public schools, heading California’s Department of Education. 

Thurmond, the incumbent candidate, lays out “Tony’s Plan” for California schools on his campaign website. On it, he highlights his efforts to close learning gaps that have expanded during the pandemic, among other initiatives. 

Thurmond’s endorsements from elected officials include Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Alex Padilla, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Attorney General Rob Bonta, among others. Organizations that endorse Thurmond include the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association.