Mark Johnson, a Winston-Salem lawyer, is leading two opponents in the GOP primary where voters are selecting a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent June Atkinson for state schools chief.
Johnson, a Winston-Salem/Forsyth school board member, Dr. Rosemary Stein, an Alamance County pediatrician, and J. Wesley Sills, a Harnett County high school teacher, battled in a GOP primary for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.
In incomplete returns, Atkinson is far ahead of Henry Pankey, a Guilford County high school administrator, in the Democratic primary. She is seeking her fourth term.
Johnson built his candidacy on limiting school testing and increasing use of classroom technology. He said the new federal education law, called the Every Student Succeeds Act, gives the state the chance to examine all tests and keep only the necessary ones. Stein made getting rid of Common Core the centerpiece of her campaign, while Sills wanted more support for teachers.
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Atkinson has been an outspoken supporter of raising teacher salaries and increasing professional development. Pankey ran on his expertise in improving struggling schools.
June Atkinson (i) 80.83%
Henry J. Pankey 19.17%
Mark Johnson 53.27%
J. Wesley Sills 13.93%
Rosemary Stein 32.80%
1713 of 2709 precincts reporting