Election Guide: Crowded field to determine next head of South Carolina's public schools

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Jun. 4—The most crowded field in the 2022 South Carolina primary elections is the race to determine the next superintendent of education.

Six people are running for the Republican nomination: businessman Travis Bedson, Florence One Schools Trustee Bryan Chapman, Lexington teacher Kizzi Gibson, Greenville County Board of Education Trustee Lynda Leventis-Wells, Palmetto State Teachers Association Executive Director Kathy Maness, and the Palmetto Promise Institute's Ellen Weaver.

Weaver holds the fundraising edge for the Republicans. She's raised over $270,000 as of March 31 compared to over $87,000 for Maness, over $14,000 for Gibson, $7,500 for Leventis-Wells and $2,000 for Chapman. Bedson's campaign shows fundraising of over $261,000 but $250,000 of the total are from two loans from South State Bank.

As crowded as the field is, it could have been more crowded. Sheri Few and Cindy Coats withdrew before the Republican primary.

Three people are running for the Democratic nomination: former Anderson County superintendent Gary Burgess, Lisa Ellis and S.C. Rep. Jerry Govan (D-Orangeburg).

Govan's only contribution is a $22,000 loan from South State Bank. Ellis has raised over $12,000 as of March 31. Burgess has raised over $5,000 as of March 31 but roughly half of the total is a $2,600 loan from himself.

A third party candidate from the Green Party is also running in the race.