Jill Underly, a candidate backed by many in the Democratic Party, defeated Deborah Kerr, the former Brown Deer School District Superintendent, who claimed to be a Democrat, Tuesday, in the fight to lead the state’s office of Public Public Instruction. 

Underly won relatively easily with 377,131 votes (56.9%) to Kerr’s 286,028 (43.1%). Up until the election, Underly has been superintendent of the Pecatonica School District 

In Green Lake County, Kerr topped Underly by 7 votes, 1,386 to 1,379. The voter turnout percentage for the race in Green Lake County was only 19%.

In theory the race was nonpartisan, but Kerr, who supports the controversial school vouchers program, gained support from the Republican Party and conservatives, while Underly, also backed by several teachers’ unions, was the clear choice of Dems and Dem-aligned voters and organizations.

According to Ballotpedia, “Wisconsin superintendents serve as the head of the state’s department of public instruction. The superintendent’s responsibilities include providing leadership for Wisconsin’s public school districts, providing the public with information about school management, attendance, and performance, licensing the state’s teachers, and receiving and disbursing federal aid for schools.

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