McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 2, 2013

Former chair of Democratic Party seeks state’s top education post

(Continued)

Ada — ‘A Democrat can win’

Holmes said he hadn’t planned to seek the state superintendent’s office, but two developments made him change his mind. He said he knew that Cox and Anderson had thrown their hats in the ring, but he did not think they would give up their day jobs to mount a full-time campaign.

Holmes said he also realized that Barresi was unpopular with school officials, which raised the possibility that a Democrat could capture the office.

“That’s part of my platform,” he said. “A Democrat can win this because of the timing right now. It’s just perfect for it.”

Holmes said he is running a grassroots campaign which will take him to every county, where he will meet with voters and school officials. He added that his campaign emphasizes his experience on the campaign trail and in the classroom.

Goals

Holmes said if he is elected, he will push lawmakers to pump more money into public schools until it reaches pre-recession levels.

“What we’re asking for is the $200 million mark that they took away from us five years ago,” he said.

Holmes said he wants to educate people about private and charter schools, because he thinks they are taking money away from Oklahoma’s public schools. He added that he does not oppose private or charter schools, but he believes they should not seek taxpayer dollars.

“They shouldn’t be taking our money out of public education,” he said. “Let them finance and fund that themselves and don’t take away what dollars we have to run the public schools, which is still the great majority of students.”

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