Republican ticket for state super still in questionMike Buck, left, and Richard Woods, right, at a June 30 candidates forum. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Former City Schools of Decatur Board of Education Member Valarie Wilson easily won the Democratic nomination in the July 22 runoff election, but it’s not clear who her opponent will be in the November general election.
The turnout was considerably higher in the Republican runoff between Mike Buck, the chief of staff to outgoing superintendent John Barge, and Richard Woods, a former high school principal and teacher who currently works in the private sector. Nearly 400,000 Georgia voters participated in the GOP runoff, compared with 135,000 who participated in the Democratic runoff between Wilson and state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan.
Buck was behind by more than 700 votes, but within a 1 percent margin that allows for a recount. Buck told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he would likely request a recount.
Woods posted a message on his Facebook page on July 23 that said, “Encouraged by last night’s showing and confident that my lead will hold while provisional ballots are counted and the recount is underway.”
While other candidates were supporters of keeping the state’s Common Core educational standards, Woods made opposing them one of the central themes of his campaign. If he wins, it will present a sharp ideological contrast to Wilson, who supports keeping the standards.