Arizona Education Election — What Happened?

There was only one thought on your Curmudgeon’s mind when he awoke this morning: What happened in Arizona?

As you recall, there was a primary election in that state yesterday, in which each party was going to choose its candidate to run for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. The last time we wrote about the situation was a month ago — see Arizona Education Candidates, Many Creationists.

The current holder of that office is Diane Douglas. She’s a flaming creationist, as are most of her staff. She’s one of the candidates this time around, but she’s being challenged by four other Republicans. All but one of the challengers said they believe Arizona students should be taught creationism and intelligent design as part of science learning requirements. The only sane Republican candidate was Jonathan Gelbart. The two Democrats seeking their party’s nomination are both sane on the creationism issue.

Okay, that’s the background. Now you’re all wondering: What happened in yesterday’s election?

The latest news we could find appears in The Arizona Republic, published in Phoenix, Arizona, the state capital. Their headline is 5 key takeaways from Arizona’s primary election. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

In the state superintendent of schools race, incumbent Diane Douglas appeared to be on her way out. Douglas’ early clashes with Gov. Doug Ducey over who would lead education policy, as well as her inability to cultivate public approval, made her vulnerable in a five-candidate GOP field that pitted her against four men.

That doesn’t tell us much. Another article in the same newspaper: Diane Douglas behind in state superintendent race; Dems in dead heat says:

Both the Republican and Democratic races were still too close to call Tuesday night. Early voting results showed two Republican candidates — Bob Branch and Frank Riggs [both creationists] — ahead of Douglas in what was the most crowded ballot this election. Those results also showed Kathy Hoffman ahead of David Schapira for the Democratic nomination for state schools superintendent.

That’s all the news so far. Here’s the website of Arizona Secretary of State where the election results are posted — as they become available. You’ll have to click on “State” at the top of that page to get to the race that interests us, and then click on “view more.” So far, the results are too preliminary to make any predictions.

It doesn’t matter to us which Democrat wins, because neither is a creationist. But Jonathan Gelbart, the lone Republican candidate who isn’t a creationist, appears to be behind the other GOP candidates.

We’ll be checking for later results from time to time, so stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Arizona Education Election — What Happened?

  1. I am SO tempted to get a bumper sticker made (magnetic!) that reads:

    “Creationism is science for dumb people”

    but that would probably get my truck keyed by those peace loving folks.

  2. That’s the same link I gave.

  3. @curmie

    but those are more recent than yours were

  4. It looks like the “sane” candidate is in last place, with about 15%, in the field of 5. The first place right now has about 22%. It is interestig that a candidate can get elected with as little as 22% of the vote. Of course, ths is only a primary, and there will be a runoff in November. Yet, really, does 22% represent the will of the electorate?

  5. TomS asks: “Yet, really, does 22% represent the will of the electorate?”

    The way I see it, 85% of the GOP voters wanted one of the creationist candidates.

  6. Michael Fugate

    Sorry for the repeat link

  7. “Yet, really, does 22% represent the will of the electorate?”

    biggest majority? 😉

    The way I see it, you’re not going to see an change here until the older generation of die hard believers start dying off, and the younger “nones” become a majority. Will take another generation or two…..

  8. Yes, it seems to be that a large majority of the GOP (for readers outside of the USA, GOP is “Grand Old Party”, i.e. Republican) voters want creationism. But what if the minority opposed to creationism were, say 25%, they would get their candidate. I don’t tink thatt that represents the will of the people.

  9. And that, BTW, is exactly why they want it taught in schools.

    “Indoctrinate them while they’re young”…..

  10. Even if the elected State Superintendent of Education is a creationist, very few local school district superintendents, who are not elected but are instead professional educators, are creationists. Most are aware by now of Kitzmiller v. Dover, so even if the state education department says it’s ok to teach creationism (or Intelligent Design, whatever you want to call it), the local superintendent will counsel the local school board to avoid the risk of huge legal fees. They learn from others’ mistakes.

  11. Michael Fugate

    100% reported now and no change. The republicans are mostly a disaster for public education – the leading guy ran charter schools, the second place guy claims a professorship at Liberty U. – he has worked at several online schools.

  12. I wondered about that second place guy. His official photo shows him in academic cap and gown.