Governors Elected In N.J., Virginia
Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey, the Republican chairman of the Education Commission of the States, won a landslide victory in his bid for re-election last week and pledged to bring about an "educational renaissance" in the state during his next term.
And in the year's only other gubernatorial race, voters in Virginia chose the Democratic candidate, Gerald L. Baliles, over his Republican opponent, Wyatt B. Durrette, who had supported the teaching of creationism in the public schools.
Mr. Baliles will succeed a former ecs chairman, Charles S. Robb, who was barred by law from succeeding himself as Virginia's governor.
Governor Kean easily defeated his Democratic opponent, Peter Shapiro.
During his first term, he championed several major education initiatives in the legislature, including an $18,500 minimum-teacher-salary law and a teacher-recognition measure.
The Governor's efforts in support of education won him the endorsement of the New Jersey Education Association, the state's major teachers' union, which had never before supported a Republican gubernatorial candidate.
In targeting education as the top priority of his next term, Governor Kean said he planned to study how state funds are being spent in public education.
Mr. Baliles, who had served as Virginia's attorney general and a member of the House of Delegates, won the governor's race in a historic election, as voters chose a woman as attorney general--the first ever to hold statewide office in Virginia--and a black as lieutenant governor--the first since Reconstruction.
During the campaign his opponent drew criticism from educators after he was quoted in a newspaper interview as advocating that creationism be taught in school science courses, along with the theory of evolution. Aides later said that Mr. Durrette saw creationism as a "historical sideline" to science education.--sh