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So that’s the deal with Casey

Back in July, folks who pay attention to Idaho politics were surprised to see a little squib of news from Coeur d’Alene saying that CdA High Principal Steve Casey was running for state superintendent of schools as a Republican – and no other information, followed by silence. Today, as candidates are multiplying for the job in the wake of Supt. Marilyn Howard’s announcement that she won’t seek re-election, I finally caught up to Casey by phone to ask what’s up – just as he was sitting down for a cup of coffee with his wife after a busy day at school.

“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.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.