Tom Horne slightly increases lead over Kathy Hoffman in race for superintendent of public instruction

In 2018, Kathy Hoffman became the first democrat and educator to hold the Superintendent of Public Instruction position.
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 7:46 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 9:27 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- After surpassing Democrat Kathy Hoffman on Monday night, Republican Tom Horne has maintained and slightly added to a slim lead over Hoffman in a back-and-forth race to become Arizona’s top educator. Horne remains in the lead against Hoffman by 8,718 votes as of 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, a slight increase compared to earlier in the day and on Tuesday. Over the weekend, Hoffman was ahead by only 592 votes before Horne took the lead. It’s been a back-and-forth battle between the two. As of 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Horne had 1,250,100 votes, while Hoffman had 1,241,382, with 99% of votes counted. This race is likely headed to an automatic recount.

Election Night

Hoffman spoke to a crowd of supporters just before 9 p.m. on Election Day, reflecting on her past campaign. “Four years ago, I was in this exact hotel doing the exact same thing we’re doing right now,” she said.“During my first campaign, I was an educator straight out of the classroom. I was a first-time candidate and someone who was told ‘you have no chance.’ But thankfully, I knew what was at stake and how critical it is to have educators leading an education.”

Horne didn’t hold a speech for Republican supporters on Election night.

Background on both candidates

After 24 years as a school board member, Horne was elected superintendent and served from 2003 to 2011. He’s now looking to win the bid again, challenging Hoffman on test scores, English proficiency among new language learners, and the ongoing threat of school violence across the country and in Arizona.

Horne has said that he is against critical race theory in schools, stating the state needs to put an end to “ethnic studies” that separate students by race. He adds Arizona must hold failing schools accountable. In the wake of school shootings across the country, he also pushed for a stronger law enforcement presence at schools.

Hoffman, on the other hand, is looking to keep her seat after serving since 2019. Hoffman has focused on improving students’ mental health and looking to relieve an ongoing teacher shortage across Arizona schools. During a televised debate, Hoffman explained she launched a school safety task force that produced resources for schools. She added in 2019, she also grew the school safety grant program from a $12 million program to an $80 million program.