Indiana schools chief draws GOP ire by backing Democrat

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Republican Party has disavowed the state schools superintendent elected under its banner with her decision to support Democrat Woody Myers for governor.

The Myers campaign announced Friday the endorsement from schools Superintendent Jennifer McCormick. She said in a statement that Myers “combines personal intellect, sincere concern, and a commitment for education.”

“Indiana’s students deserve leadership that invests in their future,” McCormick said. “Educators need leadership that will provide support and resources to meet their complex responsibilities.”

Myers is challenging Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reelection bid but has raised little campaign cash and struggled to gain attention.

McCormick won the state schools superintendent election as a Republican four years ago but has clashed repeatedly with Republican leaders over education policy. She has raised the ire of Republican officials with recent endorsements of Democrats, including the party’s candidate for state attorney general and the challenger to GOP Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston.

The state Republican Party has removed McCormick from its website listing of GOP elected officials.

“It’s not surprising that a Democrat is endorsing a Democrat,” state GOP spokesman Jake Oakman told The Indianapolis Star. “Jennifer has been angling for a position in a possible future Democrat administration for months now. Thankfully, there won’t be one. Gov. Holcomb has a strong record on education and he’ll keep putting students first for four more years.”

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