Governorships Are Won by ‘Education’ Candidates; 4 State Chiefs Re-Elected

By Tom Mirga — November 14, 1984 3 min read

Incumbent governors in Arkansas and Indiana whose education policies have gained national attention easily defeated their opponents in last week’s elections. Four incumbent chief state school officers also won re-election.

In the Arkansas gubernatorial race, the Democratic incumbent, Bill Clinton, defeated Woody Freeman, a member of the Jonesboro school board for eight years. Governor Clinton repeatedly told voters during the campaign that education reforms that he pushed through the state legislature last fall would be scuttled by lawmakers if his opponent were elected.

Gov. Robert D. Orr of Indiana, a Republican, easily defeated his Democratic opponent, State Senator Wayne Townsend. Governor Orr unveiled a two-year, $218-million education-reform package less than three weeks before Election Day.

In Delaware, the Republican candidate, Lieut. Gov. Michael N. Castle, defeated William T. Quillen, a former justice on the state supreme court. During the campaign, Mr. Castle challenged the state’s schools to adopt a 10-point reform agenda developed in response to a task force on education appointed by the outgoing Governor, Pierre S. du Pont 4th, and headed by Mr. Castle.

Education also emerged as a major issue in Missouri, where State Attorney General John Ashcroft, a Republican, defeated Lieut. Gov. Kenneth Rothman. Among other things, Mr. Ashcroft proposed increased state aid to education and consideration of a statewide “career-ladder” plan for teachers.

In Utah, Norman Bangerter, speaker of the state House of Representatives, was the first Republican to be elected governor in 20 years. His opponent was former U.S. Representative Wayne Owens. Mr. Bangerter had proposed earmarking half of the state’s projected $50-million budget surplus for “one-time-only” education expenditures for items such as textbooks and computers.

In other gubernatorial races:

Montana. The Democratic incumbent, Gov. Ted Schwinden, defeated Republican State Senator Pat Goodover.

New Hampshire. Gov. John H. Sununu, a Republican, defeated State Representative Chris Spirou.

North Carolina. The Republican candidate, James G. Martin, defeated State Attorney General Rufus Edmisten. The outgoing Governor, James B. Hunt Jr., a former president of the Education Commission of the States, was defeated in his challenge to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms.

North Dakota. State Representative George A. Sinner, a Democrat, unseated the incumbent Governor, Allen I. Olson.

Rhode Island. Edward D. DiPrete, a Republican mayor, defeated State Treasurer Anthony J. Solomon.

Vermont. Lieut. Gov. Madeline Kunin, a Democrat, narrowly defeated State Attorney General John Easton.

Washington. Gov. John Spellman, a Republican, was unseated by Pierce County Executive Booth Gardner.

West Virginia. Former Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr., a Republican, defeated State Representative Clyde M. See.

State School Chiefs

In Indiana, Superintendent of Public Instruction Harold H. Negley, a Republican, was re-elected. His opponent was Raymond Scheele, a political-science professor at Ball State University.

Montana’s incumbent chief state school officer, Ed Argenbright, a Republican, defeated Don Driscoll, a retired school administrator.

In North Carolina, the Democratic incumbent, A. Craig Phillips, defeated Gene Baker, the principal of Wayne County Elementary School.

Running on a nonpartisan ballot in North Dakota, Wayne Sanstead defeated Larry Nudell in the race for the state superintendency of public instruction, an office made vacant by the retirement of Joe Crawford.

In Washington, Frank B. Brouillet, the incumbent and the immediate past president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, defeated State Representative Shirley Galloway.

A version of this article appeared in the November 14, 1984 edition of Education Week as Governorships Are Won by ‘Education’ Candidates; 4 State Chiefs Re-Elected