State Superintendent Tony Evers may face a challenge from State Rep. Don Pridemore for the top spot overseeing the state’s education system.
Pridemore, a conservative lawmaker from Erin, filed papers to form an exploratory committee to consider running for superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction during the spring election on April 2. Evers announced earlier this month he would run for a second term.
Pridemore won the election to represent the 22nd Assembly District, which encompasses most of Menomonee Falls, on Nov. 6 after running unopposed. He would not need to give up his Assembly seat if he runs, but would need to resign if he won.
“The status quo has simply not been working when it comes to our schools. After spending billions of dollars on education in Wisconsin, we have not moved the needle one bit. Our children’s education has suffered as a result and I believe it’s time to change that.” Pridemore said in a news release Wednesday. “I believe it’s time for a fresh set of ideas and a common sense approach to educational opportunities here in Wisconsin.”
Pridemore served on the Education Reform Committee from 2005 through 2010 and served as its chairman from 2007 to 2008. He also served on the Education Committee and the Committee for Colleges and Universities. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2004.
Evers was first elected to state superintendent in April 2009, and has proposed significant reforms to the state’s educational assessment system over the next two years. He opposed Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining proposal in 2011, but has worked with the governor on a number of issues since.
Pridemore was critical of Evers during his run for the DPI secretary in 2009 but never entered the race, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Pridemore is one of nine republicans that supported a law to nullify Barack Obama’s healthcare law and allow police to arrest federal officials who implement it, according to JSOnline.
If more than two candidates emerge for the state superintendent race, a primary would be held Feb. 19.