We have the AEA endorsements that several readers mentioned yesterday.
Beebe, Hathorn, Suskie, Daniels and Campbell in the statewide races. Wendell Griffen in one contested race for Supreme Court. An endorsement pending in the other.
In a new feature, you can follow the link below for the uncut AEA news release. (If we've figured out how to operate all our new bells and whistles.)
The Arkansas Education Association has made the following recommendations in this year’s elections:
· Governor – Attorney General Mike Beebe
· Secretary of State – Secretary of State Charlie Daniels
· Lieutenant Governor – Former State Rep. Mike Hathorn
· Attorney General – Paul Suskie
· State Treasurer – Mac Campbell
Non-Partisan Judicial Primary
· Supreme Court Position 5 – Judge Wendell Griffen
AEA also plans to make a recommendation in the race for state Supreme Court, Position 2, but has not yet done so.
These recommendations were made after the AEA Political Action Committee conducted extensive interviews of all candidates for each office. The 28-member PAC committee was composed of AEA members from across the state.
Before interviews were conducted, each candidate filled out a 10-page questionnaire on education issues the AEA considers important for advancing education in Arkansas public schools. The interviews were based on the questionnaires, and candidates were questioned on their answers.
AEA President Dan Marzoni said that the group’s recommendation of Beebe for governor was based on his previous leadership in the state legislature and as Attorney General, as well as his support of education issues. “As a long-time legislative leader and as Attorney General, Beebe has proven that he can effectively work with the diverse members of the legislature to build a system of great public schools in Arkansas,” Marzoni said.
Marzoni said that the PAC committee members were pleased with the work that Daniels has done during his tenure as Secretary of State, and hope that Arkansans will re-elect him to that position so he can continue the good work.
In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Marzoni said that Hathorn’s previous legislative record and his vision for using the office as a platform for advocating education issues earned him the recommendation from the group. He said Hathorn has a unique ability to connect with the people of Arkansas and this quality also impressed the Committee.
In the race for Attorney General, Marzoni said that Suskie’s work as the elected North Little Rock City Attorney was crucial in earning him the committee’s recommendation. “In his present position he deals with all kinds of legal issues for the city, much as the Attorney General must deal with for the state,” Marzoni said.
Campbell earned the AEA nod because of his expertise as an economist, Marzoni said. “The PAC Committee felt that his knowledge of economics, taxes, and pension law would serve the citizens of Arkansas well in the position of State Treasurer.” He noted Campbell’s previous experience in dealing with the National Association of State Treasurers.
The PAC Committee cited Griffen’s experience as a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals in its recommendation.
In legislative races, committees from the local associations affiliated with AEA in each House and Senate district are conducting interviews. Some legislators seeking re-election already have received a recommendation by AEA based on their positive voting records on education issues.