Arizona Superintendent Of Public Instruction Race Too Close To Call

By Mariana Dale
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 11:58pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 12:00am
Kathy Hoffman and Frank Riggs campaigns
Kathy Hoffman and Frank Riggs.

Either a former educator or U.S. congressman will lead the Arizona Department of Education starting in January, depending on the outcome of a race too close to call as of late Tuesday night.

Republican candidate Frank Riggs unseated incumbent Diane Douglas in the primary election. Riggs is a former congressman from California and charter school executive.

“I have a proven record over 30 years of executive, educational and legislative leadership,” Riggs said in a KJZZ debate last month.

Democrat Kathy Hoffman most recently worked as a speech therapist in the West Valley.

“I know as an educator that Arizona’s future starts in our schools and the real experts of education are educators,” Hoffman said.

The superintendent of public instruction is largely an administrative post. The superintendent does hold a seat on the State Board of Education which, among other things, determines Arizona’s academic standards.

Arizona is one of 13 states that elects the top public education official in the state. In most states the governor or board of education makes the appointment. 

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