The Spokesman-Review – Eye on Boise: GOP’s Evans Backs Balukoff, Crossing Over for Education

AJBalukoffOctober 5, 2014
By The Spokesman-Review

Former GOP state schools Superintendent Jerry Evans has endorsed Democrat A.J. Balukoff for governor of Idaho, over two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter. “We simply cannot afford four more years of going in the wrong direction,” Evans said. “It is time to thank Gov. Otter for his service and to wish him well in retirement.”

Kaycee Emery, spokeswoman for Otter’s campaign, noted that Evans also endorsed Democratic challenger Keith Allred over Otter in 2010; Otter won. “Our only comment would be education continues to be a top priority for Gov. Otter, and as he’s said before and continues to say, he is committed to implementing the education task force’s 20 recommendations over the next five years,” she said. “And that’s all part of his commitment to build a brighter future for Idahoans.”

Evans, who served as Idaho’s elected state schools superintendent from 1979 to 1995, said: “I have watched what’s happening to our schools with growing concern and frustration for several years. Despite an abundance of political talk to the contrary, Idaho’s public schools have been all but abandoned by our state’s leaders. We are not living up to our state constitution’s mandate to ‘maintain a general, uniform and thorough’ system of public schools.”

Balukoff called Evans’ endorsement “a great honor,” and said, “His endorsement sends a message to educators, parents and everyone who cares about education that Gov. Otter has failed our children and our public schools. That’s why I’m running for governor.” Balukoff said Evans is “widely considered to be one of the best state school superintendents that Idaho has ever had.”

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