A teacher, Democrat, and political novice has won the race for Arizona schools chief, beating an experienced Republican politician.
Kathy Hoffman was declared the winner as her lead over Frank Riggs, a former congressman from California, grew insurmountable during a lengthy vote count in this perennially red state.
Hoffman was one of hundreds of current and former educator-activists on general-election ballots across the nation following this year’s #RedForEd protests. Demonstrators called for support of higher teacher pay and increased public school funding. An unprecedented teacher strike in May shut down public schools in Arizona for nearly a week.
She will be replacing Diane Douglas, the Republican who was embattled from nearly the beginning of her tenure, starting with infighting with the state board of education and the GOP governor.
A version of this article appeared in the November 28, 2018 edition of Education Week as Arizona Elects Democratic Teacher to Lead State Education Agency