Will rank and file teachers fall in line?
Barnes has been courting teachers aggressively as part of his comeback bid and has apologized to educators.
“It was never my intent — and it is not my intent now — not to treasure teachers and learning,” Barnes says in a video ad posted on his website and shipped to teachers.
In its release Friday, the GAE said Barnes “while still facing some backlash from his previous administration, now has the benefit of hindsight in what is truly needed to help our public schools and its students.”
The Deal campaign on Friday said the endorsement “demonstrates how out of touch the union bosses are with Georgia’s educators.”
“Teachers haven’t forgotten the arrogance and bullying of the Barnes administration, and most will vote for Nathan Deal,” spokesman Brian Robinson said. He noted that in Barnes’ home base of Cobb County, the association of educators have endorsed Deal.
The Barnes campaign had no immediate comment Friday.
The GAE overwhelmingly backs Democratic candidates. Its list of statewide endorsements announced on Friday were all Democrats.