Jan Brewer, Arizona’s 22nd governor, has endorsed Frank Riggs for superintendent of public instruction, which Riggs believes will help earn him a victory on Election Day in a race that some pollsters have said is one of the closest in the state.
“As the former Governor of Arizona and a lifelong advocate for high-quality public education, I know the importance and value of having a highly-qualified superintendent of public instruction,” Brewer said. “Frank Riggs is exceptionally well-qualified to lead our state’s K-12 education system.”
Riggs served in Congress from 1991-1992 and 1995-1998. He was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families and was the principal author of the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998, providing federal grant funds to newly formed charter schools to help defray their initial “start-up” expenses.
The Brewer endorsement is one of the most prominent for Riggs, also a former police officer.
“I’m honored to have Governor Brewer’s endorsement. She has a distinguished record of public service – from Maricopa County Supervisor to state legislator, and from secretary of state to governor – and led Arizona through difficult times at the height of the Great Recession, all the while continuing her personal commitment to the education of Arizona’s schoolchildren,” Riggs said. “She knows the office of superintendent of public instruction requires a proven educational leader, someone with real management experience, and the ability to improve educational outcomes for our children.”
Brewer touted Riggs’ experience, which stands in stark contrast to that of his opponent.
“Frank Riggs has an extensive record of executive, educational and legislative leadership. He’s been an education leader at the local, state and federal levels over 30 years,” Brewer said. “He’s achieved real results to reform and improve K-12 education, in Arizona and nationally. There is no comparison between Frank and his opponent; he’s the clear, indeed obvious, choice to be Arizona’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction.”
Riggs said he and Brewer agree on the important issues facing Arizona education.
“Governor Brewer and I both support additional school funding, high expectations and safe schools for our students, accountability in our schools, and school choice for our parents and charter school reform. These are the policies that will improve the performance of our schools and outcomes for our students,” Riggs said. “In contrast, my Democrat opponent does not talk about parents, high standards or accountability, opposes school resource officers, calls charter schools ‘corrupt’ and hires an avowed socialist activist, who says ‘teaching is political,’ as her campaign manager.”
Riggs won a crowded primary in August, besting incumbent Superintendent Diane Douglas who has been in office since 2014. Now, Riggs faces Democratic opponent Kathy Hoffman, a former preschool teacher.