The CFT makes endorsements in every election after soliciting  a candidate’s positions on issues important to educators, carefully reviewing voting records and conducting extensive interviews. The CFT also analyzes ballot measures on each statewide ballot before making a recommendation.


Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction

The CFT endorses Richmond Assemblymember Tony Thurmond for state superintendent of public instruction. President Josh Pechthalt said Thurmond, a former social worker, has demonstrated “time and again he is a champion of public education. His policy positions solidly align him with the needs of students, parents, and educators.”

He recognizes the critical need to address California’s teacher shortage, and advocates for attracting and retaining qualified educators by providing affordable housing, recruitment bonuses, scholarships and higher wages. He supports raising California up from near the bottom of the states in per pupil funding through progressive tax reforms. He sponsored a bill to bolster early childhood education enrollment by taxing private prison corporations.

In comparison to the Trump/DeVos education agenda, Thurmond—a former school board member—opposes vouchers and other schemes to shift taxpayer dollars from public education to private hands. He believes charter schools should be held to the same standards of access, transparency and accountability as public schools, and firmly opposes for-profit charters.

Read about Thurmond’s speech to Convention delegates in California Teacher.


Gavin Newsom for Governor

The CFT has endorsed Gavin Newsom for the state’s top office. Newsom has an impressive track record of public service as the current lieutenant governor of California and the former mayor of San Francisco. Newsom presents a clear progressive vision for our state anchored by fully funded and supported public schools. He has articulated a willingness to continue local control, hold charter schools accountable, and identify further sources of stable revenue to fund public education and vital social services. He also demonstrated a deep knowledge of the issues facing public sector labor unions and pledged to defend California’s position as a progressive leader on issues like immigration, LGBTQ rights, and the environment.

Read about Newsom’s speech at the March for Our Lives in California Teacher.   


General Election 2016
CFT endorses Hillary Clinton for U.S. President, Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate

The AFT and the CFT have endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. In vision, experience and leadership, she is the candidate we need in the White House. Clinton is a tested leader who has fought for the issues most important to AFT members and our communities as a U.S. Senator from New York with a 100 percent AFT voting record, and as U.S. Secretary of State.


Primary Election 2016
CFT endorses Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate

The CFT offers a custom electronic slate card — with candidates and ballot issues relevant to you, based on where you live. Go to The Educators Choice and type in your address. A page tailored to your local ballot will load, with endorsed candidates ranging from U.S. senator to your local school and college board trustees. 

Below is the complete list of state and federal races in which CFT has endorsed. Candidate names followed by an asterisk (*) indicate incumbents.


General Election 2014
CFT endorses Brown for Governor, Torlakson for State Superintendent

New technologies have made it possible for CFT to offer a custom electronic slate card — with candidates and ballot issues relevant to you, based on where you live.

Go to The Educators’ Choice and type in your address. A page tailored to your individual ballot will load, with endorsed candidates ranging from California governor to your local school and college board trustees.


Primary Election 2014
CFT endorses Brown, Torlakson

Recognizing his support for public education, CFT has endorsed Gov. Jerry Brown for reelection in 2014. Brown, as the state’s chief executive, worked closely with CFT to pass Prop. 30, raising additional revenue for schools, and then helped shape a historic funding bill that recognizes that students from low-income families, and students who speak little English, need additional resources in order to excel.