State schools superintendent Randy Dorn would be a good addition to the 2016 Governor’s race.
STATE Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn should run for governor, if only to elevate the debate around urgently necessary education reforms.
After a long record of criticizing the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee over education funding, the frustrated Dorn has privately been floating the idea around Olympia for months and recently disclosed his deliberations to Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner.
Dorn, who is not running for re-election as superintendent, would add a credible, informed voice to the gubernatorial debate stage.
This encouragement should not be read as an endorsement by The Seattle Times. Dorn himself admits he has never aspired to the governor’s mansion. He would be a long-shot candidate
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Still, his single-issue — education funding — is a good one. Dorn has mapped out a comprehensive response to the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, including the need to end the state’s four-decade habit of foisting basic-education costs off on local school levies.
Dorn’s credible voice on education-funding reform would be a welcome counterweight to fellow Democrat Inslee, who has futzed and dawdled in responding to that key element of McCleary. Inslee explicitly campaigned against levy reform four years ago. Since then, levy reform has become the consensus response to the McCleary ruling, in spite of Inslee.
Dorn publicly echoes other Democrats’ private frustration with the governor. “If it comes to global warming, ocean acidity, carbon, he’s all-in, no matter what,” Dorn told The Times. “But it’s not the paramount duty as a governor to solve global warming.”
The leading Republican candidate, former Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, hasn’t yet presented a coherent McCleary plan.
After two terms of haranguing the Legislature from the superintendent’s seat, Dorn has worn out his welcome in the Capitol.
His effort to elevate education reform as a major issue would be a good addition to the 2016 governor’s race.