May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Four-year term, $72k salary LWVOR.org
|[_] Susan Castillo
ELECTED 2-TERM INCUMBENT (2002-)
|[X] Ron Maurer||
Well in this case, there is reason to vote out the incumbent. In what has to be a thankless and impossible job, Castillo has made several headline-grabbing blunders. It would be irresponsible for voters to reward her with a third term and hope for better results.
I don't believe in casting protest votes for unqualified candidates. Although, for some reason there are concerns about Maurer's qualifications (education doctorate, former school board chair, state rep.), he seems to be as or more qualified than Castillo (a former TV reporter and state senator). I'm hesitant about electing a Republican with, apparently, the usual biases against sex education and science, but the office is technically nonpartisan. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be rallying the right wing base.
In nearly every national, state, and local political campaign, education is touted as a top priority, and yet Oregonians have left the top education job to a little-known elected position that offers no incentive to attract an effective executive (really, $72k salary???). It should be an appointed position.