Independent faces uphill ballot battle in superintendent race

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Stacie Banks is running as an Independent for Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Stacie Banks is running as an Independent for Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Banks says she needs at least 40,000 signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Banks says she needs at least 40,000 signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
So far, five other candidates have announced plans to run for superintendent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) So far, five other candidates have announced plans to run for superintendent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Valley woman seeking the top education job in the state has a tough road ahead just to get on the ballot.

Stacie Banks is running as an Independent for Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona.

"It is going to be a lot harder to run as an Independent in the state of Arizona," Banks said.

That's because the state requires Independents get more nomination petition signatures since a registered voter from any party can sign their petitions.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Banks says she needs at least 40,000 signatures and while she says the requirements are simple, meeting them is another story.

"Getting around and getting those 40,000 signatures, getting enough people to listen to my message and hear what I have to say is the challenge," she said.

It's already a crowded field. So far, five other candidates have announced plans to run.

On the Republican side, the candidates are Current Superintendent Diane Douglas, Former U.S. Congressman Frank Riggs, and Educator Tracy Livingston. On the Democratic side, Tempe Councilman David Schapira and teacher Kathy Hoffman have declared.

Banks, who is a former teacher and current assessment and curriculum consultant, does have one advantage. If she's able to get all those signatures, she goes straight through to the 2018 general election, unlike her challengers who have to win primary races.

"My priority always will be the students of Arizona and not a political platform and that's what I'd like people to remember," said Banks.

Her goal is to get 15,000 signatures by the end of the year, she says if she can do that she'll feel confident she has a viable candidacy.

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