Valarie Wilson

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Valarie Wilson
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General electionNovember 4, 2014
Candidate for
Georgia State Superintendent of Schools
Campaign website
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Valarie Wilson is the Democratic nominee for Georgia State Superintendent of Schools in the 2014 elections.[1][2]



See also: Georgia down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Wilson is running for election to the office of Georgia State Superintendent of Schools.[1] Wilson won the Democratic nomination in the primary runoff against Alisha Thomas Morgan on July 22, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Election Results

Primary Runoff - July 22, 2014

Georgia State Superintendents of Schools, Democratic Primary Runoff, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngValarie Wilson 54.4% 73,711
Alisha Thomas Morgan 45.6% 61,846
Total Votes 135,557
Election Results Via:Georgia Secretary of State. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.

Democratic Primary - May 20, 2014

Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngValarie Wilson 32.6% 96,849
Green check mark transparent.pngAlisha Thomas Morgan 26.4% 78,460
Denise Freeman 18.3% 54,428
Tarnisha Dent 13.5% 40,007
Jurita Forehand Mays 5.7% 16,818
Rita Robinzine 3.6% 10,609
Total Votes 297,171
Election Results Via:Georgia Secretary of State Election Results.

Race backround

In the May 20 primary election, neither of the crowded Democratic and Republican fields for Georgia State Superintendent of Schools managed to produce a definitive victor—that is, no one received at least 50 percent of the primary vote.[3] As a result, the top two vote-getters from each race competed in a runoff on July 22 to decide who would advance to the general election: state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan and former Decatur School Board Chairwoman Valarie Wilson for the Democrats; chief academic officer for the state Department of Education Mike Buck and veteran Irwin County educator Richard Woods for the Republicans.[4][5] [6][7]

Wilson was declared the Democratic nominee for Georgia State Superintendent of Schools over state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan late on election night, while the GOP runoff between Buck and Woods was too close to call. [8][9][10] [11] With 100% precincts fully reported the day after, excluding provisional ballots, Woods led by less than 730 votes out of about 397,800 cast—well below the one percent margin Georgia election law deems necessary to conduct a recount.[12][10] The outcome remained a mystery until Thursday, July 31, when the ensuing recount concluded that Woods had indeed won the race, by a mere 713 votes.[13]

As the sole open state executive seat of the 2014 elections, the superintendent race was expected to draw a substantial lineup of hopefuls. Outgoing incumbent John Barge, a Republican first elected Georgia's state schools chief in 2010, decided to forgo a possible re-election bid this year, instead setting his sights on the governorship. Though a crushing defeat by current Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary brought an early end to Barge's gubernatorial campaign, he is unable to join in the superintendent ballot after the fact. Barge's deviation was unique among the ten-man, all-Republican roster of Georgia state-row incumbents, all of whom are considered likely to be re-elected, and has exposed the superintendent's office as a target for Democrats—and/or women—looking to gain an incipient foothold in the executive branch of the state government.[14][15]

The open seat race has attracted additional media attention for its relevance to the nationwide zeitgeist issue of Common Core. Like in most states, the Georgia State Superintendent of Schools plays a critical role in the implementation of the controversial new education standards set forth by Common Core. Unsurprisingly, the top candidates all faced heavy scrutiny over their stances on the issue during their primary campaigns and the matter will no doubt be a centerpiece of ensuing debates between the nominees.

Of the Republicans, Buck supported Georgia's persistent relationship with the standards, touting the stability Common Core can provide from year to year. Woods, however, has reservations about Common Core, saying if elected he would review both Common Core as well as the new Common Core-aligned "Georgia Milestones" testing regime currently deep in the development stage.[16]

On the Democratic side, both Wilson and Morgan supported staying the course on the state's implementation of Common Core during their primary campaigns. With that agreed upon, each candidate sought to prove she was the better qualified. Wilson, who finished first in the primary and edged out Morgan in the runoff, brings an established base of support among education authorities from her years as Decatur School Board Chairwoman and President of the Georgia School Boards Association. Wilson's campaign so far focused on promoting traditional public schools as well as her ample management experience. Wilson openly criticized Morgan's advocacy for school choice and voucher or school tax credit programs while serving in the state legislature.[17] Morgan more recently endeared herself to some influential Democratic establishment leaders for having championed a fight against an anti-Common Core bill in the Senate, but evidently it was not enough to negate her record on charter schools and other such right-of-center programs.[16]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Georgia Secretary of State, "Qualifying Candidate Information: State Schools Superintendent," accessed April 1, 2014
  2. Valarie Wilson for Superintendent 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed April 1, 2014
  3. Georgia Election Results, Secretary of State, "Primary Statewide Election Results," accessed July 21, 2014
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named morgan
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wilson
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named buck
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named woods
  8. abc walbnews10, "Richard Woods awaits final results, running for School Superintendent," July 23, 2014
  9. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, "Recount looks likely in Republican superintendent race," July 23, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Rome News-Tribune, "UPDATE: Woods edges Buck for Georgia Superintendent Republican runoff, results within margin for recount," July 23, 2014
  11. Georgia Election Results, Secretary of State, "Primary Statewide Election Results," accessed July 21, 2014
  12. Georgia Secretary of State Election Results, "General Primary Runoff and General Nonpartisan Election Runoff July 22, 2014," accessed July 23, 2014
  13. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Buck loses recount in Georgia GOP schools race," July 31, 2014
  14. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings for July 18, 2014," July 18, 2014
  15. Georgia Secretary of State, "Qualifying Candidate Information," accessed May 19, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "State school chief candidates in the final stretch. No idea who will prevail," July 14, 2014
  17. GPB News, "Voters To Choose Democratic Superintendent Candidate Tuesday," July 17, 2014