I posted yesterday that the business community was reportedly unhappy with the current field of declared and qualified school chief candidates in the wake of incumbent Kathy Cox’s decision to resign and pull out of the race. I reported that word is that the business leaders are looking for an independent school chief candidate who they can support and push.
My colleague Jim Galloway has this item – a snippet of an interview the governor had with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) — that suggests Sonny Perdue may also be willing to consider an independent. (It is too late for anyone to qualify to run as a Democrat or Republican.)
I think that Democrats will push a Roy Barnes/Joe Martin ticket, holding it out as a dream team for education reform. Not sure what the Republicans will do as I stated earlier; at least one GOP candidate is not a big fan of Race to the Top, and the governor is. I am not sure there is a united vision in the GOP camp on education reforms and where Georgia should be going. Candidates appear to be all over the map. For example, GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson is still calling for vouchers, an idea that has pretty much disappeared from the debate in many states.
I understand that the governor is not happy with Cox’s decision to accept a CEO job at a new think tank, thus throwing the race for her seat into bedlam, but it seems to be a great opportunity for her and her family. I can’t blame her for going.
O’Hayer: Will you be trying to pick someone who can simply hold the fort and get us through a new school year and through the elections, or will you try to pick somebody who’s already on the ballot?
Perdue: You know me well enough to know that I’m not much of a caretaker. I don’t believe in just holding the fort. I don’t think we can hold the fort on education. I think we’ve got to move. And I think anytime you hold the fort, you risk the possibility of slipping back. We’ll make an appointment with that in mind.
O’Hayer: Does that mean you’ll look at someone who’s already declared?
Perdue: It means I’m going to look at everyone.
O’Hayer: Would you consider appointing a Democrat?
Perdue: I would consider appointing the best person I can find to the job of superintendent of education. It’s that important. I, frankly, asked for legislation this year that that position be appointed, because I don’t think it should be a partisan position.