By Savannah Levins
At least four school choice candidates will be running for State Superintendent. The current Superintendent is John Barge, a Republican who took office in 2011. Barge will be departing office to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary.
Kira Willis has recently announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s State School Superintendent. Willis is an 18-year veteran teacher from Fulton County and has a strong Northwest suburban following. She has emphasized the need for greater educational choice and intends to run on that platform.
Willis is joining four other Republicans in the primary election, including Nancy Jester, an ousted former DeKalb County school board member who is endorsed by former Senate President Eric Johnson. Jester has also made a point to promote school choice.
The women will be running against 3 men on the GOP ticket: Matt Schultz, a Bartow County School Board Member, pharmaceutical sales executive & USMC veteran; Richard Woods, a retired school administrator, ex-Teacher and 2010 candidate (Willis also ran in 2010); and Fitz Johnson, a defense contractor, retired army officer and community activist.
Johnson has also promoted school choice in his platform, stating, “I believe that more choices for where parents send their kids to school is a good thing. Choice can be a different public school, a private school, a charter school, or home school. We should never force kids to go to schools that don’t put them in an environment where they can succeed.”
Alicia Morgan is the only Democrat who has announced her candidacy. She shares Willis’ pro-school choice platform. Morgan passed public school choice legislation a few years back and campaigned for the charter amendment. She was the first African-American to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives for Cobb County.
We will be sure to post updates as the primary draws closer.