Updated by Charlie: Barge has made it official. From Valarie Wilson:
Before a crowd of parents, community members and educators from all parties in front of Tucker High School, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced his endorsement of Valarie Wilson to lead the position he will vacate at the end of the year.
“Valarie Wilson is the only candidate in this race for State School Superintendent who understands the real issues facing our public education system in Georgia,” Barge said. “She knows what initiatives are working and knows where changes need to be made to allow teachers to teach. She also understands that Education in Georgia is headed in the right direction with gains in student achievement on all national indicators. Georgia ranks higher on every indicator than we did four years ago. She knows teachers have been faced with significant amounts of transition over the last several years and more change would be frustrating to teachers.”
“Education leaders also know that, despite the rhetoric, they have taken massive hits to their budgets over the last four years. Valarie Wilson has and will continue to be a staunch advocate for the return of resources to our public schools. Valarie’s commonsense approach to this job is exactly what Georgia needs to continue making improvements in our public schools. That is why I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for State School Superintendent.”
Original post follows:
Barge says it will only be for a “special announcement” but reading between the lines it sounds like an endorsement will be made.
As the AJC notes, Barge defeated Richard Woods in the 2010 Republican primary for the position. That Richard Woods is loony might also explain why Barge crossed over for his endorsement.
Will this endorsement help? Maybe. I do think endorsements offer a good heuristic for voters. Considering how tight the race is, every little bit helps.