Education has taken center stage in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. Gov. Nathan Deal and his Democratic opponent Jason Carter will speak at an educational forum on Friday. Each fancies himself the education candidate. But educators are sometimes wary when politicians here in Georgia or in Washington wade into the debate on schools. That’s because they say schools – and students – often get left behind.
The winner of the GOP nomination for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat touts himself as a political outsider. But businessman David Perdue now needs the political know-how and network of career politicians to beat Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election.
Georgia voters will select between three Republicans in the race for governor May 20: incumbent Nathan Deal, former Dalton Mayor David Pennington and State School Superintendent John Barge. Barge is abandoning his own re-election bid to run for governor. He told GPB recently Georgia’s gains on college-entrance exams, national assessments and the graduation rate will suffer if state leaders don’t restore years of cuts in education funding.
Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington is one of two Republicans challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in this month’s primary. Pennington has been running the north Georgia town known as the “carpet capital of the world” for six years. He’s been widely called a Tea Party candidate in this primary. But he told GPB recently he doesn’t agree with that label.
State Sen. Jason Carter (D-Atlanta) will challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 election. The 38-year-old is the grandson of Jimmy Carter, who also served in the state Senate before ascending to the governor’s office and the presidency. The Atlanta Democrat told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday he will make a formal announcement Thursday.
State Schools Superintendent John Barge officially launched his bid to unseat Gov. Nathan Deal Tuesday. Teachers say it will put school issues at the heart of the 2014 gubernatorial election. But GOP strategists believe it’s a Hail Mary pass by Barge.