By Sarah Ramon and Annie Gentry
INDIANAPOLIS – As part of the Republican party sweep of statewide offices in Indiana, Democrat Glenda Ritz lost her job as state superintendent of schools to newcomer Republican Jennifer McCormick.
“From the very beginning I have made it clear we will always, always put students before politics,” said McCormick, the current superintendent of Yorktown Community Schools. “The day of putting political agendas before kids has got to stop and today is the day.”
Republican Jennifer McCormick gives her victory speech before her supporters Tuesday night. Photo by Eddie Drews, TheStatehouseFile.com
Meanwhile, hopeful Democrats gathered at the Indiana Convention Center to support their candidates. Dressed in a white gown paired with a sash that read “Voters for Women,” Avon resident MeChelle Callen was present to do just that.
“What I love about Glenda Ritz as a candidate is that I really feel like she understands teachers and their frustrations,” said Callen. “She can get through all the politics and is more focused on how we support our teachers so they can help our kids be successful in order to compete for jobs, the opportunity to go to college and live up to their potential.”
As the results rolled in against her, Ritz looked back on her days in office.
“I have spent the last four years fighting for students and supporting schools,” said Ritz at the Democratic watch party. “It has been an incredible honor to serve as your superintendent of public instruction for the last four years.”
Additionally, Ritz encouraged Indiana residents to continue their fight for better education.
“Hoosier educators and families, this is a call to you. You must be part of the conversation, to be strong applicants for our children and public education. Be a loud voice at the Statehouse,” she said.
During her acceptance speech at the GOP watch party, McCormick complimented Ritz’s efforts during her time as the state superintendent.
“I do appreciate the four years she’s spent in the Statehouse. Nothing is easy about politics and nothing is easy about running a campaign and certainly serving in that world,” said McCormick. “So I do commend her for the service that she has provided and wish her well.”
Republican Hoosiers said they’re ready for a change.
“I hope that she is able to find a way to get all of the children to graduate without having to pass the tests,” said Andrea Lawson, whose daughter is going to college to become a teacher.
Sarah Ramon and Annie Gentry are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.