COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — You may have heard of a two-party system, but have you ever heard of a candidate running under two parties?
That’s exactly what education superintendent candidate Lisa Ellis did.
“The Alliance Party represents voices that are often silenced by politicians, voices like working families and students with special needs,” the Democratic candidate said. “It is this alignment that excites me to run as a merged candidate with the Democratic Party and the Alliance Party.”
The founder of the SC Teachers Group for Ed says running as a merged candidate under two parties shows she is more focused on improving public schools than a Democratic party agenda.
“I urge you, when you vote in November, to put the education of your child, grandchild or neighbor first,” Ellis said.
The last Democrat to win a state education superintendent was Jim Rex in 2006. On Thursday, he explained why he supported Lisa Ellis.
“Lisa is uniquely positioned to help this state deal with the teacher supply crisis,” Rex said. “First of all, I want to remind you that she is the first candidate to run for office who is an active teacher.”
Ellis has 21 years of experience in education, teaching in three school districts and four schools.
Rex says the contrast between the candidates for state superintendent of education makes it easier for voters to choose.
“On the one hand, you have an educator who believes in the importance of accessibility and accountability in public education,” said the former state superintendent of education. “On the other hand, you have a non-educator proposing to use taxpayers’ money to weaken our public schools and cover some of the public school expenses.”
Ellis’ opponent, Republican Party nominee Ellen Weaver, also has support from former superintendents. Mick Zais and Barbara Neilsen along with 27 state legislators endorsed Weaver.
“I have the skills… the background and experience to work with them to build relationships of trust. I researched the policies to understand what works and what doesn’t,” Weaver said in June. “I also have an attentive ear. I’m going to be in the community to filter comments from parents, teachers, and business leaders. All of these things make me a uniquely qualified candidate for this position.
Ultimately, voters in November will decide what could prove to be a close race.
In the Democratic primary, Ellis received over 87,000 votes. In the Republican runoff election, Weaver received approximately 92,000 votes.