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Hoffman concedes to Horne in Arizona's race for superintendent of public instruction

Republican Tom Horne is running against incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman.

PHOENIX — Election Day results continue to roll in across Arizona has races are called and candidates concede.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is Arizona's top educator and the director of the state's Department of Education. This year, Tom Horne (R) ran to unseat incumbent Kathy Hoffman (D) in the November General Election.

The race has been neck and neck since the first batch of votes were released, but Horne seems to be the winner after Hoffman conceded defeat Thursday morning.

"After a hard-fought race, we came up short," Hoffman said in a tweet. "I want to thank my supporters, volunteers, and staff who stood by me during this election. And I especially want to thank my family for all of their love and support."

Here is a look at who won and lost the election for Arizona's top educator:

Tom Horne (R)

A long-time politician, Tom Horne is noteworthy in having served in all three branches of government. 

Horne was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1996 and served two terms in office. He was then elected as Superintendent of Public Education and served two terms from 2003 to 2011.

During his time as Superintendent, Horne voiced his support for using taxpayer money to pay for educating the children of illegally present migrants, and called for a plan that would open American high schools as a path to citizenship.

Horne has also frequently brought up so-called "critical race theory" despite the fact that there is little to no evidence of this curriculum being taught in K-12 schools. He has also claimed, "liberals in Arizona are breaking down the pillars to a good education."

After a tight race in 2011, Horne was elected Arizona Attorney General, leading the polls by only 899 votes. Horne served in that position until 2015, but lost the GOP primary after he was caught using his office staff to run his reelection campaign.

You can click here to visit Horne's campaign website.

Kathy Hoffman (Incumbent-D)

Kathy Hoffman was elected to office in the 2018 General Election and is running for reelection to her second term. She has previously served as a member of the Arizona Education Association and the Arizona Federation for Teachers.

Hoffman has received criticism for her handling of school closures during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, and said that in hindsight she may have made slightly different decisions, but not substantially so.

On her campaign website, Hoffman lists recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, supporting student mental health, and creating welcoming public schools as some of her top priorities.

You can click here to visit Kath Hoffman's campaign website.

RELATED: Kathy Hoffman, Tom Horne spar in debate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

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