Tony Bennett

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Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett.jpg
Florida Commissioner of Education
Former officeholder
In office
January 14, 2013 – August 1, 2013
PredecessorPam Stewart
Base salary$275,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedDecember 12, 2012
Appointed byFlorida Board of Education
Campaign $$2,323,712
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
January 12, 2009 - January 14, 2013
Bachelor'sIndiana University Southeast
Master'sIndiana University Southeast
OtherEd.D, Spalding University
Place of birthClark County, Indiana
Office website
Campaign website
Tony Bennett is the former Florida Commissioner of Education. He served in this position from January 14, 2013 until his resignation August 1, 2013 after revelations he had abused his previous office as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction surfaced in the press.[1][2]

Prior to becoming Florida's nonpartisan education commissioner, Bennett served as the Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana from 2009-2013.[3]

Bennett was defeated in his bid for re-election in Indiana on November 6, 2012. He announced less than a month later that he had applied to become Florida Commissioner of Education, an appointed position.[4] He was unanimously confirmed for the appointment on December 12, 2012 and assumed office as commissioner in January.

A February 2013 article in Governing named Bennett as one of the top state Republican officials to watch in 2013.[5] Six months later, he resigned from public office.[6] following an Associated Press story showing that while he was still Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Bennett tampered with a charter school's grading system in order to protect his relationship with a powerful Republican campaign donor. Denying all reports of ethical or political misconduct, Bennett explained in a statement after stepping down, "I don't believe it would be fair to be distracted" to continue serving as commissioner amid the controversy.[7][8]

Before entering politics, Bennett was a science teacher. He parlayed his teaching job into a career as a school administrator.[3]


Bennett was born in Clark County, Indiana. He lives with his wife Tina in Noblesville. They have four children and one grandchild.[3]

He graduated from Indiana University Southeast with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Secondary Education. He also holds his Superintendent's License from Spalding University.

Bennett worked as a science teacher for nine years before moving on to school administration.


  • EdD, Superintendent's License, Spalding University
  • MS, Secondary Education, Indiana University Southeast
  • B.S., Secondary Education, Indiana University Southeast

Political career

Florida Commissioner of Education (January 2013-August 2013)

Bennett unanimously won appointment as the next Education Commissioner of Florida on December 12, 2012.[9] He assumed office on January 14, 2013. He resigned August 1, 2013 amid a scandal relating to a reported ethics transgression from his time serving as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction (2009-2013)

Bennett was sworn in as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 12, 2009. He lost his bid for re-election on November 6, 2012.[3]



See also: Indiana down ballot state executive elections, 2012

Bennett ran for re-election as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2012.[10] He was nominated as the Republican candidate at the party's convention on June 9.[11]

Democrats nominated Glenda Ritz as their nominee at the state party convention on June 16.[12][13] Ritz defeated Bennett in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGlenda Ritz 52.8% 1,332,755
     Republican Tony Bennett Incumbent 47.2% 1,190,716
Total Votes 2,523,471
Election Results via Indiana Secretary of State.

Shortly after his electoral defeat, Bennett was named the new Florida Commissioner of Education by the state Board of Education on December 12, 2012.


On November 4, 2008, Bennett defeated Democrat Richard D. Wood to become Superintendent of Public Instruction.[14]

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTony Bennett 51% 1,294,833
     Democratic Richard D. Wood 49% 1,243,693
     Democratic Kevin Brown 0% 180
Total Votes 2,538,706

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bennett is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Bennett raised a total of $2,323,712 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[15]

Tony Bennett's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Defeated $1,885,304
2010 Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Not up for election $130,081
2008 Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Won $308,327
Grand Total Raised $2,323,712


Bennett won re-election to the position of Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2012. During that election cycle, Bennett raised a total of $1,885,304.


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Tony Bennett's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Pam Stewart
Florida Commissioner of Education
January 14, 2013 - August 1, 2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
January 12, 2009 - January 14, 2013
Succeeded by
Glenda Ritz (D)