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State Superintendent John Barge Announces Gubernatorial Campaign

Sep 03, 2013 -- 12:03pm

By: Andrew Carter (WRGA News) 

A local educational leader who is now making a run at the state’s highest office made a formal announcement Tuesday afternoon in downtown Smyrna of his candidacy.

Kingston resident and current State Schools Superintendent John Barge announced to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday afternoon that he would be running for Governor on the Republican ticket, challenging fellow GOP incumbent Governor Nathan Deal and current Dalton Mayor David Pennington.

According to Barge, over the tenure of the current administration, funding for public education has been steadily disappearing and no effort has been by the Governor or Legislature to restore any cuts. Barge reiterated the important role teachers play in making Georgia’s public education more successful, ultimately leading to a more thriving economy.

“Teachers absolutely are going to be a central core part of our campaign,” said Barge in a Monday morning interview with John Druckenmiller of Hometown Headlines Radio Edition.

“They are the root of public education. Without our teachers – without education – we’re not going to continue to move forward in the state in a progressive way.”

Barge will face a challenge, especially in the financial department, as law prohibits him from raising any money during the legislative session, while holding his current office.

The session, which runs from January to as late as April, would force Barge to cease any fundraising efforts.

The primary will be held May 20 of next year. 

Previous story (Posted Friday, August 31 11:11 am):

By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)

It’s official: State Superintendent John Barge will be running against Nathan Deal for Governor in 2014.

After nearly a month of rumors and speculation, the Kingston-native made his decision public to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday, with a more formal announcement expected later this week.

Barge says his campaign will focus on economic development and dramatically increasing the funding for public education—-an assertion he mirrored a couple of weeks ago on WRGA’s Hometown Headlines the Radio Edition with John Druckenmiller.

“You can’t continue to make the progress that we’re making with children not in school with furloughs. Something has to give,” Barge said. “We’ve got to truly realize that education is a long-term investment.”

Barge will join Dalton Mayor David Pennington in the GOP primaries, vying against Governor Deal. On the democratic side, State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin have been named as potential gubernatorial candidates.  

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