by David Safier
If there are such things as endorsement game changers, these three endorsements qualify. As Jim Nintzel posted on the Range the other day, David Garcia, Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, put out a media release saying he received endorsements from three past Superintendents: Republican Lisa Graham Keegan, Republican Jaime Molera and Democrat Carolyn Warner.
So, what does that mean?
Keegan is not only a former Arizona Ed Supe. She was also John McCain's education adviser during his presidential run. Her endorsement should carry significant weight with moderate Republicans who support the "education reform" agenda, and with members of the business community who might feel uncomfortable supporting a Democrat. Garcia and Keegan have significant areas of disagreement on education issues, so her endorsement sends the message that Garcia can be trusted as an honest broker, someone who people on both sides of the aisle can work with.
“I am supporting David Garcia for state school superintendent because the state needs an education leader who seeks the best in education for all students, informs his decisions with honest data, and understands integrity in office is everything,” declared Independent education advocate and former state superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan. “I have watched David bring these strengths to his work, and look forward to his leadership.”
Garcia worked in the Department of Education when both Keegan and Molera served as superintendent, so they both know him well.
In Molera's endorsement statement, he takes a dig at Diane Douglas, the Republican candidate.
“Arizona does not need someone who will bring extreme and nonsensical views into our K-12 system. David worked as a top advisor to me when I served as state superintendent. I know he has a strong work ethic and will lead based on sound research, not distorted ideological views.”
To underline how much he doesn't want Douglas as Superintendent, Molera said that he "is backing the statewide GOP ticket." Except, of course, Diane Douglas.
This race is going to be a fascinating one from the start.