Kathy Hoffman concedes state superintendent of public instruction race to Tom Horne

Kathy Hoffman conceded the race for state superintendent of education Thursday morning.
Kathy Hoffman conceded the race for state superintendent of education Thursday morning.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 9:14 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Kathy Hoffman has issued a statement conceding her re-election bid for Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, making way for staunch conservative Tom Horne to take on the role.

Horne had a three-point lead against Hoffman for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction in an Arizona’s Family/HighGround poll released in October. His lead remained through Election night with the lead changing over the next few days. As of Thursday morning, nine days after the election, the race has yet to be called. With about 17,000 ballots left to be counted statewide, Horne leads Hoffman by 8,718 votes. Tap/click here for the latest numbers.

Below is Hoffman’s full statement released Thursday morning:

On The Issues

Horne’s platform is a stark contrast to Hoffman’s. Horne, who has previously held the role, has reiterated right-wing talking points and voiced his displeasure and concern about schools teaching “critical race theory.” Horne says the state needs to put the end to “ethnic studies” that separate students by race and that the state must hold failing schools accountable by having the state take over.

In the wake of a number of school shootings and health reports revealing the declining mental health of school-aged children, Horne pushed for more discipline and a stronger law enforcement presence. He also said that discipline will play a pivotal role in improving academic standings and test scores.

As Arizona deals with a plaguing teacher shortage, Horne expressed that discipline will help incentive teachers in the profession. “We have to have orderly classrooms otherwise kids can’t learn,” he said during the televised debate.

Horne also plans to work on tightening graduation requirements and working on improving English proficiency for students learning the language. On his website, he says that “bilingual education is a disaster for students who do not yet speak English,” explaining that many don’t learn the language adequately to deal with real-world, post-graduation situations.

Controversial Campaign Work

Horne also came into the spotlight after an Arizona’s Family Investigation uncovered that former state Rep. David Stringer, who was previously charged with child sex crimes, had been working for his campaign. Days after telling investigative reporter Morgan Lowe he was working with him, Horne’s campaign tweeted that Horne had refunded Stringer’s in-kind contribution and said that Stringer was not involved with the campaign.