UNION — Seven months after he announced his candidacy State Rep. Mike Anthony is ending his campaign for State Superintendent of Education to seek a seventh term representing S.C. House District 42.
Anthony released the following statement Wednesday afternoon announcing his decision:
“Since announcing my candidacy for Superintendent of Education I have enjoyed traveling around the state and meeting so many others who share my commitment to improving public education in South Carolina,” Anthony said. “During this time I have come to the conclusion that I can be more effective at improving our schools by remaining in the House of Representatives, where I presently serve on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee as well as the K-12 subcommittee.
“As Superintendent, one of my main goals would have been to put more money into the classroom,” he said. “By remaining in the House and continuing to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, I have a voice, and more importantly a vote, to put more money in the budget for our schools.”
Anthony said that another factor in his decision was that he has enjoyed serving in the state legislature he has not enjoyed the amount of time he’s had to spend campaigning for State Superintendent of Education.
“I enjoy serving my community in the legislature and frankly, have not enjoyed the spending so much time away from Union and away from my family while seeking statewide office,” Anthony said.
Anthony said that while his campaign for State Superintendent of Education is at an end, his commitment to South Carolina’s schools is as strong as ever.
“Today I am ending my campaign for Superintendent of Education and will be seeking re-election to the South Carolina House of Representatives,” Anthony said. “The support I’ve received in my campaign has been both overwhelming and humbling and I am so appreciative to everyone who has helped me up to this point. I remain committed to our schools, and if re-elected to the State House, I will use my position to strongly advocate for a substantial increase in school funding so we can pay our teachers what they deserve and allow every student an opportunity to prosper.”
Anthony announced his candidacy for State Superintendent of Education in August, calling for an end to partisanship in education and for a renewed focus on and support of teachers doing the job of educating children. He also stressed the importance of education to economic development.
Anthony’s campaign for State Superintendent of Education was endorsed by former Gov. Jim Hodges and 50 grassroots Democratic leaders.
Anthony, a Democrat, has represented District 42 in the S.C. House for the past 12 years. During six of those years he served on the House Education Committee.
Prior to his election to S.C. House District 42 seat, Anthony spent more than 30 years as a public school teacher. In addition to being a teacher, Anthony, a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, coached football at his alma mater, Union High School, for seven years.
As head football coach, Anthony led the Yellowjackets to state championships in 1999, 2000, and 2002.
With his decision to run for a seventh term, Anthony becomes the second candidate to announce for the District 42 seat.
Also running for the seat is David Tribble Jr., a Republican, who previously served as mayor of Clinton, a member of the Laurens County Council, and one term representing District 15 in the State House before it was redistricted out of the area.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.