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Democrat enters Georgia state school superintendent race

Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan

Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan

A Cobb County state representative became the first Democrat to enter the 2014 race for Georgia state school superintendent Wednesday.

Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan announced she would seek the seat, which incumbent John Barge plans to leave to pursue the governor’s office.

“I am a mother and I understand what it takes to address the needs of a child. We need someone in the state school superintendent’s office who feels a sense of urgency about the education challenges facing Georgia,” Morgan said, discussing cuts to the state’s education budget over recent years.

Morgan said she plans a grassroots campaign for change at the Department of Education and for options in the public school system.

The mother of a first-grader, Morgan not only serves on the Georgia House Education Committee, but she consults for the U.S. Department of Education, evaluating applications for programs such as “Race to the Top” and “Promise Neighborhoods.”

“Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan is an outstanding visionary, leader, and renaissance woman who has the ability to recognize and respond to problems before they become emergencies,” the Rev. Darrell D. Elligan said at Morgan’s announcement. “She recognizes current challenges in Georgia’s education system and decided to best respond to them as the next State School Superintendent. Children and public policy are her passion. I believe with her proven record and our prayers, she will serve the state of Georgia extremely well. There is no better candidate.”