Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Interviews


uddenly, there’s another major state race brewing for early 2009.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has been preparing for a challenge from conservatives in her bid for re-election, sparking speculation of a repeat of the past two partisan-ized races that saw conservatives take over the court majority. Emerging as a likely candidate is Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick.
And now conservatives and liberals are expected to battle over the state school superintendent’s job following Department of Public Instruction chief Libby Burmaster’s surprise announcement she’ll pass on a re-election bid. Though the post is officially non-partisan, Burmaster has been seen as a big ally of Dem Gov. Jim Doyle. Doyle has strong ties to Madison West High School, where Burmaster worked as principal.
Already, the potential list of competitors is up to three.
Tony Evers, Burmaster’s deputy of the past seven-plus years, immediately e-mailed supporters announcing his intention to run for the post. Van Mobley, a history professor at Concordia University in Mequon and a member of the Thiensville Village Board, is mulling a run and will make his decision in November.
And Rose Fernandez, president of president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families, has been considering a run for DPI superintendent, according to a state campaign veteran with ties to her.
Evers, who ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2001, and Mobley gave interviews to WisPolitics this week about their visions for the job. Attempts to reach Fernandez were unsuccessful.