Barresi rebuts Hime attack

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In the Republican primary race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Shawn Hime, a former assistant to incumbent Democratic Superintendent Sandy Garrett, has attacked Janet Barresi in a fundraising letter for having contributed in the past to Democratic candidates. Barresi responded tonight with a press release, which you can read in full on Jamison Faught's Musings of a Muskogee Politico. Here are some key excerpts:

Contrary to his mudslinging, I am a lifelong conservative Republican and have been a staunch supporter of pro-life organizations and conservative Republicans - 86 percent of all my political contributions have been to Republicans and GOP organizations.

I have contributed to a handful of Democrats who (at least at the time) were supportive of education reform, particularly school choice. I have always been upfront about those contributions because I wanted to work within the system. When I saw that wasn't possible, I announced that I was running against Sandy Garrett - before she dropped out.

Hime also claimed in the letter that Barresi lacked experience working in education. In fact, Barresi helped start two very successful charter schools:

One of those schools, Harding Charter Preparatory High School, was named to Newsweek magazine's list of the best high schools in the country after only six years of operation. Last year Harding saw its first National Merit Finalist, another student named to the Academic All-State team and Harding students received $1.65 million in college scholarships. One hundred percent of our students graduated last year and 96 percent went on to college.

Their accomplishments came in spite of the fact that the majority of Harding students are from poverty level backgrounds. Twenty two percent of last year's class were the first in their family to graduate high school, and 65 percent were the first in their families to go to college.

As you can see, I don't believe in excuses. I achieve results. And I have no problem putting my record on education against the Garrett/Hime record anytime, anywhere.

DISCLOSURE: Given the huge banner ad on the sidebar, it's probably superfluous to point out that the Janet Barresi campaign is a sponsor of BatesLine.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 26, 2010 11:20 PM.

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