Johnson will run for state school superintendent

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Fitz Johnson, a Cobb County businessman and military veteran, said Saturday he will run as a Republican for state school superintendent.

Johnson, who is an African American, will be one of several Republican hopefuls trying to replace current Supt. John Barge, who is running for governor in the GOP primary.

“Georgia’s schools are the foundation for our state’s economic development and, more importantly, the future success of every child in Georgia,” he said. “As the father of three children who graduated from our public schools, I share every parent’s deep commitment to public education.”

Johnson is a partner at Georgetown Capital, a private equity firm, and CEO of Broadrange Logistics. He served for 21 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

“Having served in the military and built a successful business, I understand how to manage a bureaucracy,” Johnson said. “I also know how much more efficient and effective those bureaucracies can be when they embrace private sector expertise.”

Richard Woods, a former teacher and school principal from Irwin County, has already said he’ll run in the GOP primary for superintendent. Woods lost the 2010 primary election by a little more than 16,000 votes to Barge.  Bartow County school board member Matt Shultz is another prospective Republican candidate.

Nancy Jester, one of six members removed from the DeKalb County school board by Gov. Nathan Deal, has indicated she might run for the Republican nomination as well.

As a black Republican, Johnson will face the challenge of trying to cobble together support among the white conservatives who make up the bulk of GOP primary voters.

Johnson is planning an official campaign launch for November. His consulting team includes Heath Garrett, a former aide to Sen. Johnny Isakson and a member of the state ethics commission, Joel McElhannon, and Jay Williams of the Stoneridge Group.

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Fitz Johnson , John Barge , Richard Woods , state school superintendent