Tony Evers, one of the longest-serving state superintendents in the country, easily defeated his opponent Lowell Holtz Tuesday in the state’s nonpartisan general election, according to the Associated Press.
Evers, received a large amount of support from the state’s teacher’s union and campaigned on increasing public school funding and building more wraparound services for the state’s poor, black, and Latino students. He attributed the state’s large achievement gap under his eight-year tenure to the effects of poverty in the classroom.
Holtz ran on a campaign to ramp up the state’s school accountability system and expand even more the state’s voucher and charter school sector in order to close the state’s achievement gap between white students and their black and Latino peers. He received significant support from the state’s Republican base and charter and voucher community. He also said he wanted to increase school security to protect teachers from what he called roving gangs in the school hallways.
The campaign, which was the only one on Tuesday’s ballot, received an unusual amount of attention this year and was clouded by accusations by Evers against Holtz of bribery and illegal campaigning. Holtz was found to have used his school district e-mail for campaign purposes and was accused by his opponent John Humphries of offering to drop out of the race if the Department of Public Instruction offered him a $150,000-per-year job and a personal driver.
Evers won by a 3-1 margin, according to unofficial results, reported the AP.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.