Voters in North Carolina are replacing their Democratic governor with a Republican, but appear to be keeping Democrat June Atkinson as state superintendent. As of 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, she was leading by nine percentage points over her GOP challenger John Tedesco with almost all counties reporting.
Atkinson is a veteran of the education establishment in North Carolina, having served in the state education department since 1976. This will be the third time she's been elected superintendent, and she looks to be succeeding despite the GOP trend in the state. Voters elected Republican Pat McCrory as their new governor, replacing Democrat Bev Perdue, who decided not to run again.
Atkinson is big on technology and distance learning. She also wants education policy progress to be nonpartisan, she recently told me, although that can mean a variety of things.
Tedesco said during the campaign that he'd work better with a Republican governor and a GOP-dominated legislature. He won't get the chance now. But will Atkinson be increasingly isolated now that Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, is being replaced by a GOP governor? And will she be successful in protecting or expanding education funding in the state?