Experience Matters: Tony Evers Beats Rose Fernandez

Tony Evers beats Rose Fernandez to become Wisconsin Schools Superintendent

MADISON — Rose Fernandez called herself a “mom on a mission” who wanted to reform Wisconsin’s schools as state superintendent.

But Tony Evers beat Fernandez Tuesday in the state superintendent race 57 percent to 43 percent, based on preliminary results. Evers’ TV ads helped convince 30-year-old Wausau banker Brad Kene to vote for him.

“From the ads that I saw, he seemed to be a man of character and a little more experienced in education than his opponent,” Kene said.

Evers hammered the experience factor throughout the campaign. He worked 34 years in education across the state, compared to none for Fernandez. A former pediatric nurse, she got involved with politics after leading an advocacy group for families whose children attend school over the Internet.

Evers said his win shows people wanted a person with experience to be superintendent. “I think people understand that the state superintendent position is one that is critical to our public education and public library system,” he said.

State superintendent is a nonpartisan post, but support for the candidates broke down largely along partisan lines. Along with the WEAC endorsement, Evers had support from Gov. Jim Doyle and a host of Democratic state lawmakers.
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