In a surprise announcement Wednesday, a high-ranking Democrat seeking South Carolina’s top education post withdrew his name from the race.
State Rep. Mike Anthony, D-Union, announced in an email that he will end his campaign for Superintendent of Education and instead run for reelection to the South Carolina House of Representatives.
“Since announcing my candidacy… I have come to the conclusion that I can be more effective at improving our schools by remaining in the House of Representatives, where I presently serve on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee as well as the K-12 sub-committee,” Anthony said in the statement. “As Superintendent, one of my main goals would have been to put more money into the classroom. By remaining in the House and continuing to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, I have a voice, and more importantly a vote, to put more money in the budget for our schools.”
“I enjoy serving my community in the legislature and frankly, have not enjoyed spending so much time away from Union and away from my family while seeking statewide office.”
Anthony had been seen as the favorite for the Democratic nomination to replace current superintendent Mick Zais, who does not plan to seek reelection this fall. The only other Democrat in the race is current Education Department school transformation director Montrio Belton. Eight Republicans are also seeking the position. A ninth GOP candidate, State Rep. Andy Patrick, dropped out of the race in January.
The primary for both parties will be June 10.