Libertarian candidate for governor Donald Rainwater announced his choice for education secretary Thursday.
Rainwater says that if he wins the election, he’ll appoint Dawn Wooten to the post.
Wooten is a university English professor in Fort Wayne. Wooten ran against current office-holder Jennifer McCormick for the Republican nomination for state superintendent of public instruction in 2016.
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Wooten said she would focus on getting rid of common core curriculum and standardized tests. She also criticized McCormick for her contentious relationship with lawmakers in the General Assembly.
“And that is where things get done. So I think that another four years of her in the administration would not be good for our children or our teachers,” she said.
Democratic candidate Dr. Woody Myers has said that if he wins the governor’s race, he will keep McCormick in the role as the state’s schools chief.
But Rainwater hopes to make Wooten Indiana’s first – and only – appointed education secretary. Both Rainwater and Wooten said they want to change it back to an elected position in the future.
Lawmakers made the role of Indiana’s top education official an appointed position in 2017. Proponents of the change said it would keep partisan politics out of education policy making. Last year, after McCormick announced she wouldn’t seek re-election, lawmakers moved up the timeline to make her the final elected schools chief for Indiana.
Incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he will review possible appointees for education secretary after the election.