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Incumbent Stanford Taylor won’t run for state superintendent

January 13, 2020 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s state superintendent of schools Carolyn Stanford Taylor, who was appointed to the position in January 2019 after Tony Evers left the job to become governor, said Monday she will not run for a full term in 2021.

Taylor, who was working as an assistant state superintendent when Evers picked her to succeed him, said she had promised to serve the remainder of his term which ends in July 2021. She was Wisconsin’s first black state schools superintendent.

Her decision means the seat overseeing the state Department of Public Instruction will be open ahead of the April 2021 election. It marks the first time since 2009, the year Evers was elected as state superintendent, that the race will not feature an incumbent. Evers held the post more than nine years, before he was elected governor and then appointed Stanford Taylor to succeed him.

Evers said in a statement that he was grateful to Stanford Taylor her service, calling her a “dedicated and thoughtful leader committed to ensuring that every kid has an opportunity to succeed.”

Stanford Taylor said she was announcing her decision now to give others interested in running time to organize their campaigns. The race is officially nonpartisan, although candidates have traditionally been backed by partisan interests on one side or the other.