Incumbent State Superintendent Tony Evers will spend a third term leading Wisconsin’s public education system, after beating former School District Superintendent Lowell Holtz in the municipal election Tuesday.
“I’m grateful for tonight’s results,” Evers said in a statement. “I believe in public education and I am proud of where we are today. We have high graduation rates, suspensions are down, attendance is up, and the number of kids earning college credit in high school is at an all-time high.”
Evers led Holtz by a landslide, echoing results of the spring primary, earning 86.7 percent of votes at 81 percent of precincts reporting. The incumbent secured 88.7 percent of votes in February, and his opponent just over 7 percent.
Evers said during his campaign that his first priority in the new term will be to secure adequate education funding throughout the state, specifically in the area of mental health care. Another top priority, he has said, will be narrowing the state’s achievement and graduation gaps—which have been rated by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy this year as being among the worst in the nation for racial disparity.
The two candidates ran on nearly opposite policy platforms. Holtz had demonstrated support for expanding private school voucher programs, repealing Common Core standards and allowing licensed weapons in schools—all ideas Evers has said he opposes.
Holtz was heavily scrutinized after admitting just a week before the primary to the Wisconsin State Journal that he had planned to collaborate with former candidate John Humphries. The two had made a deal that Humphries would drop out of the race if the two advanced, in exchange for a position with benefits including a chauffeur at the Department of Public Instruction.