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Horgan: Candidate Marshall Tuck’s Peninsula roots run deep

Maybe the second time is actually the charm. Marshall Tuck, 45, is making another strong run to become California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

He’s an education innovator of long-standing who ran for the statewide post and lost in 2014. He’s giving it another shot in the upcoming November general election. His opponent this time is Tony Thurmond, 49, a member of the state Assembly representing the 15th District in the East Bay.

Tuck has deep roots in Hillsborough, Burlingame and San Mateo. He attended mid-Peninsula parochial and public elementary schools. He’s a graduate of San Mateo High School.

Tuck’s resume since his days in these parts — he grew up in Hillsborough, one of eight siblings in the Robert Tuck family — is impressive. He has extensive experience leading and working with both alternative public schools and public charter schools in Southern California. His approach is marked by a distinct effort to address the status quo and prod it toward fresh solutions.

The state office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is listed as nonpartisan. Both Tuck and Thurmond are Democrats. The latter has the support of California’s teachers’ unions. Tuck has the backing of charter school organizers.

The issues defining the two candidates appear to be similar to those in 2014 when Tuck was defeated by Tom Torlakson in a close race.

If Tuck should emerge victorious in his race in 10 weeks, he would follow in the footsteps of another county education figure: Delaine Eastin, a previous state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Eastin, who attended school in her early years in San Carlos (she also taught at Canada College in Redwood City for a time) served California as its top public education official, its 25th, from 1995 to 2003.

This originally appeared in the Mercury News by John Horgan.