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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Superintendent of Public Instruction

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Chris Reykdal (N) 1,195,329 50.69%
Erin Jones (N) 1,163,000 49.31%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Race

A former literacy coach at Rogers High School in Spokane faces a state legislator in the race for state schools superintendent. One will replace Randy Dorn, who is retiring. Dorn pushed hard for more school funding, which put him at odds with many legislators.

State Rep. Chris Reykdal said he has experience in budget and policy. Erin Jones stresses her experience as an educator. She is an administrator in the Tacoma School District.

Reykdal said he will be active in discussion of the Supreme Court’s mandate. “There is an enormous need to fully fund our system and do that more equitably,” he said.

Jones said she wants to be a resource for legislators, while working to educate Washington residents and encourage them to push lawmakers to increase education funding. “We do need additional revenues,” Jones said. “We need more teachers and new buildings.”

Jones said she has a unique perspective on the state’s education system because her children have experienced the inequity that the school funding lawsuit sought to fix. They were students at a high-poverty school in Tacoma and then at another Title I school that was dramatically overcrowded in Puyallup. Reykdal also would bring a parent’s perspective to the job. But while Jones’ kids are now adults, Reykdal’s children were still in elementary school last school year.

The Candidates

Chris Reykdal

No party
Tumwater, Washington

Education: Graduated from Snohomish High School in 1990. Received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from Washington State University in 1994. Received his master’s in public administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1999.

Political Experience: Elected Superintendent for Public Instruction in 2016. Served as representative for the 22nd Legislative district in the Washington State House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

Work Experience: Teacher in Longview, Washington. Revenue analyst for the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee. Executive on Washington State’s public community and technical college system.

Family: Married to Kim Reykdal. Has two children.

Campaign contributions: Raised $155,694 as of Sept. 23, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. Top donors include the Boeing Company PAC, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Washington Education Association. 

Erin Jones

No party
Tacoma, WA

Age: 45

Education: Grew up in the Netherlands. Earned bachelor’s degree in comparative literature at Bryn Mawr College. Earned teaching certificate at Pacific Lutheran University.

Work experience: Teaching coach and program administrator for the Tacoma School District. Former literacy coach at Rogers High School in Spokane where she won a national Milken Educator Award in 2007.

Political experience: This is Jones’ first run for elected office.

Family: Married. Has three children.

Complete Coverage

Candidates for state superintendent of education have similar goals, different approaches

The two candidates for the state superintendent of public instruction, State Rep. Chris Reykdal and Erin Jones, expressed similar goals, but different methods, in a debate Tuesday.

Lawmaker, former Rogers teacher compete for Washington state superintendent post

Randy Dorn is stepping down after eight years as state superintendent of public instruction, and two Democrats are vying to replace him as head of Washington’s K-12 public education system. The nonpartisan job pays $132,000 a year and oversees some $9 billion in education spending.

Editorial: Jones for state superintendent

We interviewed three candidates who are all impressive, but we believe Erin Jones has the background and vision to address significant challenges

Crowded field for Washington schools chief race

There’s a crowded field of candidates vying to be Washington’s next superintendent of public instruction, but the three top candidates all bring something new to the contest.