Arizona education official loses re-election bid

Arizona education official loses re-election bid

Arizona education official loses re-election bid

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by Bob Christie/Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 28 at 11:34 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal lost his bid for a second term Tuesday, falling in the Republican primary after he admitted making offensive anonymous comments on the Internet while serving as the state's chief education official.

Diane Douglas won the race after focusing almost all of her campaign on repealing the Obama administration-supported Common Core education standards.

In the November election, Douglas will face David Garcia, an Arizona State University professor who defeated high school English teacher Sharon Thomas in the Democratic primary.

"It's going to take the same as we did in the primary: appeal to the moms and dads of Arizona," Douglas said in an interview after she was declared the winner. "They want control back over their children's education."

The GOP contest normally would have received little attention but was transformed when it was revealed that Huppenthal made anonymous rants on the Internet.

He called welfare recipients "lazy pigs" who mooch off the government despite having flat-screen TVs in their living rooms, while comparing the Planned Parenthood founder to Nazis. He bashed Spanish-language media and said, "This is America, speak English."

Huppenthal broke down in tears at a June news conference as he apologized for his actions and said that anonymous discourse has long been a cornerstone of Democracy, citing examples of Founding Fathers who wrote under pseudoynms during the 18th century.

The race focused heavily on Common Core. Douglas fiercely opposes the program, calling it "top-down government control of our education system."

Huppenthal has been forced into an awkward position on the issue. He has long backed Common Core, but said during a debate with Douglas that he "never supported the standards."

The standards have been adopted by most states and were approved by the state Board of Education with little opposition in 2010. But they have become a popular talking point in Republican primaries around the nation as GOP candidates court voters on the right.

The superintendent has a large role in determining state education policy along with the governor, the Legislature and the state Board of Education. The superintendent is a Board of Education member and oversees the state Department of Education, an agency whose main job is to funnel funding to school districts and charter schools.

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Ariz. education official trails in re-election bid

PHOENIX (AP) -- John Huppenthal is trailing in his bid for a second term as superintendent of public instruction, early election results show.

Diane Douglas, a former suburban school board member, has a sizable lead over Huppenthal in the Republican primary after the first votes were counted.

Huppenthal's re-election bid ran into a snag when he admitted making offensive anonymous postings while serving as Arizona's top education official.

Douglas has made repealing the Obama administration's Common Core standards her main campaign issue.

She was given a gift when it was revealed that Huppenthal made anonymous rants on the Internet. He called welfare recipients "lazy pigs" who mooch off the government despite having flat-screen TVs in their living rooms, while comparing the Planned Parenthood founder to Nazis. He bashed Spanish-language media and said "This is America, speak English."

Huppenthal broke down in tears at a news conference in June as he apologized and said that anonymous discourse has long been a cornerstone of Democracy, citing examples of Founding Fathers who wrote under pseudoynms during the 18th century. He also said voters he encounters during campaign stops do not care about the controversy and worry more about the quality of education in Arizona.

The race has focused heavily on Common Core. Douglas fiercely opposes the program, calling it "top-down government control of our education system." Huppenthal has been forced into an awkward position on the issue. He has long backed Common Core, but said during a debate with Douglas that he "never supported the standards."

The standards have been adopted by most states and were approved by the state Board of Education with little opposition in 2010. But they have become a popular talking point in Republican primaries around the nation as GOP candidates court voters on the right.

On the Democratic side, Arizona State University professor David Garcia has a slight lead over high school English teacher Sharon Thomas, early election results show.

The victor will face the GOP winner in the November election.

The superintendent has a large role in determining state education policy along with the governor, the Legislature and the state Board of Education. The superintendent is a Board of Education member and oversees the state Department of Education, an agency whose main job is to funnel funding to school districts and charter schools.

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Top Arizona education official fights to keep job

PHOENIX (AP) -- John Huppenthal's bid for a second term as superintendent of public instruction ran into a snag when he admitted making offensive anonymous postings while serving as Arizona's top education official. He finds out Tuesday if he can survive the mistake.

Huppenthal is running in the Republican primary against Diane Douglas, a former suburban school board member who has made repealing Common Core standards her main campaign issue.

She was given a gift when it was revealed that Huppenthal made anonymous rants on the Internet. He called welfare recipients "lazy pigs" who mooch off the government despite having flat-screen TVs in their living rooms, while comparing the Planned Parenthood founder to Nazis. He bashed Spanish-language media and said "This is America, speak English."

Huppenthal broke down in tears at a news conference in June as he apologized and said that anonymous discourse has long been a cornerstone of Democracy, citing examples of Founding Fathers who wrote under pseudonyms during the 18th century. He also said voters he encounters during campaign stops do not care about the controversy and worry more about the quality of education in Arizona.

The race has focused heavily on Common Core. Douglas fiercely opposes the program, calling it "top-down government control of our education system." Huppenthal has been forced into an awkward position on the issue. He has long backed Common Core, but said during a debate with Douglas that he "never supported the standards."

The standards have been adopted by most states and were approved by the state Board of Education with little opposition in 2010. But they have become a popular talking point in Republican primaries around the nation as GOP candidates court voters on the right.

Democrats are also choosing a candidate in the race to face the GOP winner.

Arizona State University professor David Garcia and high school English teacher Sharon Thomas are running on the Democratic side.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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