Longtime SC representative to run for state superintendent of education

Rep. Jerry Govan, D – Orangeburg, announces his candidacy for state Superintendent of Education...
Rep. Jerry Govan, D – Orangeburg, announces his candidacy for state Superintendent of Education at the State House in Columbia on March 18, 2022.(Mary Green)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The second-longest-serving Democrat in the South Carolina House of Representatives announced Friday he will not seek re-election for his seat and instead is running for state Superintendent of Education.

Rep. Jerry Govan, D – Orangeburg, is a retired educator who previously and unsuccessfully ran for state superintendent in 2014.

Govan has served in the House since 1993, but during the state’s recent redistricting process, his seat was drawn in with another incumbent Democrat’s, Rep. Russell Ott’s, meaning Govan and Ott would be forced to run against each other, or one would have to move to a new district if they both sought to keep a seat.

Instead, his family and Ott among those at his side Friday, Govan announced he will join a crowded field running for superintendent.

Govan said he wants to rebuild trust between parents and educators, improve school safety, prepare kids for the future, and take politics out of education.

“We need to be good listeners as public servants,” he said. “One of the challenges that we’ve seen as a result of some of the debate that’s going around on different issues — voters out there, parents are saying that we’re not listening. We’ve got to change that.”

Current state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman is not running for re-election, opening the race up.

As of Friday evening, three candidates had officially filed to run — Republicans Sheri Few, Kizzi Gibson, and Ellen Weaver — but more have announced they intend to do so.

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