Luna announces he will not run for reelection

Credit: Eric Turner / KTVB

Luna announces he will not run for reelection

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by KTVB & Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 27 at 7:14 PM

BOISE -- Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced that he will not be running for reelection in 2014.

"I believe there are some who currently support what we are doing but who might feel the need to distance themselves from this work or even oppose it simply because they think it might benefit me politically," said Luna Monday in a news conference. "Therefore, I want to take that off the table and for that reason I will not seek reelection in 2014."

Luna said he plans to spend time with family and may go back to his job at Scales Unlimited in Nampa, a weights and measures business.

"You won't see my name on any ballot for the next election," said Luna.

"I can say that we were surprised," said Penni Cyr, Idaho Education Association president.

Idaho's education association said despite differences over his seven years in office, there were some priorities they agreed upon.

"One thing I can say about Mr. Luna, he does want what is best for children and public education as does Idaho education Association," said Cyr. "We haven't always gone about it the same way or agreed on how it's done, but ultimately that's what he wants and that's what we want."

It was certainly not an easy two terms for Luna his face major school budget cuts and harsh opposition to his students come first laws.

John Rusche, D - Lewiston, says regardless of Luna's reason to not seek reelection he still has 11 months to push for change in Idaho's education system.

"I think the legacy is yet to be seen. I do think it was a very tumultuous times that I think the superintendent recognizes," said Rusche.

John Goedde, the Senate education chairman, believes this is the right decision so Luna can focus on the Governors task force recommendations for education instead of his campaign thing in his legacy so far has helped our state students and teachers

"Even the failure of the students come first, I believe, resulted in positive impact," said Goedde. "It may have changed the process, but the essential direction is still the same."

Luna says he's talked with former Republican state Sen. Melinda Smyser, wife of a prominent Capitol lobbyist, about running if he doesn't.

But he said he's not yet ready to endorse anybody.

Luna was first elected back in 2007. This was his second term as superintendent.

Jana Jones, a former teacher and school administrator, has announced her intent to run.

Jones lost eight years ago to current Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, a Republican.

The vote that year was 51 percent for Luna and 49 percent for Jones.

American Falls principal Randy Jensen formally announced Friday he's running for the post in May's Republican primary election.

Jensen attended Brigham Young University and is currently principal at the southeastern Idaho town's William Thomas Middle School.

Grangeville teacher John Eynon has filed paperwork necessary to begin fund raising for the post, also as a Republican.

Eynon's big issue is halting new Common Core standards.

The primary election is May 20.

Watch the full news conference here:

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