REPUBLICAN RUNOFF: Weaver defeats Maness for state superintendent of education nomination

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — After no Republican candidate for state superintendent of education received a majority of the votes on Election Day, a runoff decided who would face Democratic nominee Lisa Ellis.

Voters turned out to the polls Tuesday to choose between Ellen Weaver and Kathy Maness.

“The voters of South Carolina have spoken. This is a mandate for change,” said Ellen Weaver.

After receiving 23 percent of votes two weeks ago compared to Kathy Maness’ 31 percent, Ellen Weaver took more than 60 percent of the vote in the runoff, winning the Republican nomination for state superintendent of education.

“It’s going to be about supporting our teachers, restoring discipline in our classrooms, cutting red tape and letting our teachers teach,” Weaver said to her supporters Tuesday night.

Kathy Maness conceded the race just after 9 o’clock Tuesday night.

“The past six months have been exhausting but they’ve also been some of the most rewarding of my career in education,” Maness said at a watch party in Lexington.

Maness was critical of her opponent not having obtained a master’s degree yet and was critical of Weaver again in her concession speech. 

“We instead had to focus on combating the number of lies and deceitful messages put out by the opponent and her special interest group, the mega rich supporters. Ultimately, the money put in this race by those outside groups proved to be insurmountable,” Maness said. “While we were not able to claim victory tonight, I appreciate the many votes from parents and teachers across South Carolina.”

The Palmetto State Teachers Association director also thanked those who helped out with her campaign and plans to continue to work in education.

“I’m really happy the way we ran our campaign,” Maness said. “I’m really upset with the way my opponent ran her campaign, but that’s okay. That’s alright. I will continue to fight for the future of public education.”

On the other hand, Weaver now prepares to face off against Democratic nominee Lisa Ellis to replace Molly Spearman as state superintendent of education. 

“Change has started here tonight but it has not finished. We have a long road to go until November. I look forward to a spirited campaign,” said the Republican nominee. “I look forward to traveling to every corner of this state to listen to parents and teachers, stand up for our students and involve our business and faith community in our schools.”

Weaver has addressed not having a master’s degree. She confirmed with us last week that she is working towards obtaining it and will have that master’s degree before taking office if elected.


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