Three former schools chiefs--including a Republican--have endorsed Democrat David Garcia in his bid for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Garcia's camp announced endorsements from Carolyn Warner, Lisa Graham Keegan, and Jaime Molera. Warner ran Arizona's schools from 1974 to 1986; Graham Keegan was in charge from 1995 to 2001; Molera had the job from 2001 to 2003.
Garcia will run against Republican nominee Diane Douglas on November 4.
Current Superintendent John Huppenthal, in office since 2011, said he plans to support Douglas, who defeated him in his bid for reelection in the Republican primaries last week.
Douglas' campaign is based on stopping Common Core in Arizona, a desire supported by many conservative voters nationally.
Molera, a Republican, acknowledges that his endorsement crosses party lines, but says he believes Garcia is the right choice.
"Arizona does not need someone who will bring extreme and nonsensical views into our K-12 system," he told the Garcia campaign. "As a strong believer in conservative principles and of the Republican party, and as someone who believes in and is backing the statewide GOP ticket, I am supporting David Garcia because I believe he is the right person for this important job."
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Garcia is pleased with the endorsements, and says he hopes to continue reaching across the aisle if he wins this fall.
"Though elections are partisan, good education policy is not," he said. "I'm honored to have the support of both Democratic and Republican education leaders, and I am committed to doing what's in the best interest of our students, our schools and our state."
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