State Rep. Craig Horn becomes the first Republican candidate to join the race for state superintendent

State Rep. Craig Horn

State Rep. Craig Horn, a Republican from Union County, is officially a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Horn is the first GOP candidate in the race for the seat currently held by Republican Mark Johnson who announced plans to run for lieutenant governor in 2020.

Catherine Truitt, the chancellor of Western Governors University, is only other Republican who has expressed interest in the superintendent’s seat but has not yet filed.

Horn is one of the co-chairs of the House’s K-12 Education Committee.

He told Policy Watch last month that he would run only if he believes he can make a difference, his family supports the decision and he is certain he can raise the $500,000 he thinks it will take to be successful.

So far, four of the five Democrats who have said they are running for the seat have filed for election.

The four Democratic candidates are: Charlotte educator and activist Constance Lav Johnson, Michael Maher, assistant dean for professional education and accreditation at the College of Education at NC State University, James Barrett, a former Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board member and Jen Mangrum, a clinical associate professor in the School of Education at UNC-Greensboro who ran for a seat in the legislature last year against Senate leader Phil Berger.

Keith Sutton, who was recently named chairman of the Wake County school board, has announced plans to run for state superintendent but had not filed by the time this story was published.

Amy Jablonski, a Raleigh educational consultant and former teacher, had announced plans to run for the seat but recently said she will not seek the post.

The filing period for most 2020 contests opened at noon on Dec. 2 and will close Dec. 20 at noon.

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