It's not too often that we break news - especially when it comes to statewide political news, but every once in a while, even a lazy dog has a bone fall in his lap... Last night, we were able to confirm directly with Kelly Payne herself that the Dutch Fork Civics teacher, activist and IT Kids leader will be indeed running for South Carolina Superintendent of Education in 2010...
I would like to say that we did some intrepid scrounging, but it kinda just dropped on us. I got an e-mail from Kelly, thanking us for our support. In it, she stated "My heart is fully into this" - which sure sounded like a person who is running. So, we contacted her, confirmed it, and got her permission to spill the beans. Kelly is in, and we are pretty happy about it.
It's not too often that you get truly energized and excited about a candidacy. They usually seem to be very obvious, and the person is just taking 'the next step'. I'd been watching Kelly Payne for the last few months, and I'd been thinking to myself that she needs to run for office. Superintendent of Education is a great fit. She's a public school teacher, not a bureaucrat. She's been able to motivate her kids to get involved and excited, making them one of the top performing schools in South Carolina. We've lost a lot of votes in the center by pushing school choice. It scares a lot of people, like big changes in Health Care scare us. Here, we have a candidate who works in the system, and has shown common sense and cheap ways to get our kids into learning.
The kids won't be the only ones getting excited. Kelly Payne has all tools to get the GOP base pumped up. What Sarah Palin did on a national level last year, Kelly can do on the state level - except I think Kelly has more experience at the job she's applying for than Palin had. The Democrats will not know what to do with her next year. They'll try to pigeonhole her, but how do you attack someone who fights in the trenches everyday for the kids 24/7 ? You can't. She's the ideal candidate for Superintendent of Ed.
If you want to meet her, she will be at the Berkeley County Breakfast Meeting this Saturday on Howe Hall Rd in Goose Creek. She's not attending officially as a candidate - she's taking the IT Kids there on another trip - once again, the kids come first. I'll be there too, as well as her likely competitor for the Republican nomination, Brent Nelsen. It should be interesting to see what kind of buzz she creates there. You heard it here first - for once !
Kelly asked me to give everyone the link to her campaign Facebook page. If you're interested in supporting her, Kelly asks that you add yourself as a Supporter. Here is the address....