Republicans balk at Douglas in primary, teachers split

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas chats with a constituent’s son at the Arizona Capitol Times’ Meet the Candidates event on Aug. 1. Douglas is seeking re-election this year, but she faces four Republican challengers in the August primary. /Photo by Katie Campbell/Arizona Capitol Times

 

By Katie Campbell | Arizona Capitol Times

Republican leaders are abandoning state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas in her re-election bid, favoring a former teacher they consider their best shot at keeping the office red.

But some in the Red for Ed camp that took over the Capitol this spring say Douglas is their pick for the GOP nomination – just not for the reasons she hopes voters will turn out for her.

Arizona Republican stalwarts like House Speaker J.D. Mesnard and Senate President Steve Yarbrough snubbed Douglas and instead endorsed Tracy Livingston, a Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board member with more than a decade of public school teaching experience.

They’re hoping she’ll be an antidote to current perceptions of the office and its holder. With the August 28 primary election fast approaching, they’ll soon find out whether voters agree.

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