Orangeburg Democratic state Rep. Jerry Govan announced Friday he is running for South Carolina superintendent of education.

“This is not a sad time but an exciting time,” Govan said during an announcement at the Statehouse in Columbia. “There are so many challenges unique to the state that we must address. I’ve done what I’ve needed to do at the General Assembly, but now it’s time to take it to the next level.”

Govan has spent nearly 30 years serving in the legislature. He currently sits on the Education and Public Works Committee.

Govan has also served as Orangeburg County’s attendance supervisor, dropout prevention coordinator and a parent educator. He graduated from South Carolina State University.

“This was not an easy decision, particularly due to the circumstances that have seen a dramatic and unforeseen change in House District 95, an area I proudly served. I want to embrace service to others as we make the transition from one door to the next and work to serve the state as the new superintendent of education.”

People are also reading…

In 2014, Govan entered the race for superintendent of education race but lost in the Democratic primary. He says this run will be different.

Candidates file for political office in Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties

“We’re not getting in at the tail end,” Govan said. “The people see what we started talking about back then in terms of importance of making education a priority. I want to guarantee every child a high-quality education and consider the future. My parents did not have a high school diploma but stressed the importance of getting an education.”

Govan said legislative redistricting was a major factor in his run but not the only reason he is not seeking re-election to the House of Representatives.

“The whole issue of redistricting has caused a stir in my community,” Govan said. “House District 95 is one of the original districts court-ordered to assure that we would have minority representation. To have this district dismantled and reassigned has caused a lot of dismay in Orangeburg County; however we must support it moving forward.”

Much of the Greater Orangeburg area in Govan’s District 95 is now in District 90, represented by Bamberg County Rep. Justin Bamberg. Orangeburg Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter resides in the new District 95 and has filed to run for the House seat.

Reapportionment placed Govan in District 93 represented by Calhoun County Rep. and House Assistant Minority Leader Russell Ott, who joined Govan at the news conference in Columbia. Ott has filed to seek re-election in District 93.

Govan’s message Friday was to keep politics out of education and focus on the larger task at hand.

“It’s critical that we talk about issues,” Govan said. “I’m talking about building trust between parents and educators. As public servants, we need to be good listeners and help build that bridge of family engagement. Parents are an important piece of the puzzle. I want to continue keeping students safe in schools and preparing our kids for the future.”

Govan asks Orangeburg City Council to join redistricting lawsuit

Govan quoted a report from a national conference of state legislatures that projected students in America will continue falling behind on a global scale.

“Let’s take the politics out of education and do right by our children,” Govan said.

Govan said he will not officially file to run until Monday. To date, his only announced Democratic opposition is former Anderson 4 Superintendent Gary Burgess.

The Republican field is loaded with contenders looking to succeed Republican Molly Spearman, who said in 2021 she would not seek re-election.

Republicans in the running are: Ellen Weaver, head of the conservative think tank Palmetto Promise Institute and former chairwoman of the state’s Education Oversight Committee; Cindy Coats, a three-term Charleston County school board member and former board chair; Lexington County educator Kizzi Staley Gibson, who grew up in Orangeburg; Greenville County school board trustee Lynda Leventis-Wells; and Kathy Maness, head of the Palmetto State Teachers Association, S.C.’s largest teachers group. $1 for the first 26 weeks
T&D TOP 10 OF 2021/NO. 7 – Population declines shift districts; House, Senate lines change for local voters

Filing closes March 30.

#pu-email-form-daily-email-article { clear: both; background-color: #fff; color: #222; background-position: bottom; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding: 15px 20px; margin-bottom: 40px; border-top: 4px solid rgba(0,0,0,.8); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.2); display: none; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article, #pu-email-form-daily-email-article p { font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, “Segoe UI”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article h1 { font-size: 24px; margin: 15px 0 5px 0; font-family: “serif-ds”, Times, “Times New Roman”, serif; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .lead { margin-bottom: 5px; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .email-desc { font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; opacity: 0.7; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article form { padding: 10px 30px 5px 30px; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .disclaimer { opacity: 0.5; margin-bottom: 0; line-height: 100%; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .disclaimer a { color: #222; text-decoration: underline; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .email-hammer { border-bottom: 3px solid #222; opacity: .5; display: inline-block; padding: 0 10px 5px 10px; margin-bottom: -5px; font-size: 16px; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #pu-email-form-daily-email-article form { padding: 10px 0 5px 0; } }

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>