Archive for October 2005
“Am I running? Absolutely, no question,” Casey said. But he hadn’t actually meant to launch his campaign last summer. He was with his “very good friend” state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, at a public event, and Jorgenson, who had been encouraging Casey to run, introduced him as a candidate. That spilled the beans.
Casey said he’s tried to stay out of politics over the years, because of his role as a high school principal. “So I’ve made it a point not to be politically outspoken,” he said. “Now on education issues, that’s a little different story.” But now, at age 56, he said, “I think I can make a difference in education in the state of Idaho after 34 years of being a teacher, coach, principal.” He doesn’t plan to take off work to campaign, however. “I can’t not work and I can’t not do this. It’d be four years before it comes around again.” Casey said he’ll work with his school board to figure out how best to balance the two. He expects to formally announce his candidacy before Thanksgiving.
Though Steve Casey hasn’t been politically active, his brother Greg Casey certainly has. Now a Washington, D.C. lobbyist, Greg Casey is the former head of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.
The two-term superintendent said she will retire with mixed feelings. “There is so much left to be done,” she said. “And yet it is time I turn this over to someone else.” She noted that at age 66, she reached retirement age a year ago, and said she wants to spend time with her children and grandchildren.
Howard, who spent 40 years in education as a teacher, principal and administrator, stressed that she believes her successor as state superintendent must be someone with strong education experience. “Our schools are not businesses, and they don’t turn out widgets,” she said.
That remark seemed aimed, perhaps, at Tom Luna, the Republican who unsuccessfully challenged Howard in the last election and who, coincidentally, is announcing tomorrow that he’s running again. Luna is a businessman with no background in education, who scrambled to complete a correspondence course to get the minimum required college degree before the last election.
Already in the race is Coeur d’Alene High School Principal Steve Casey, a Republican who announced months ago. State Rep. Steve Smylie, a Republican and a teacher from Boise who is the son of the late former Gov. Bob Smylie, and state Sen. Bert Marley, a Democrat and a teacher from eastern Idaho, also are eyeing the race.