GOP state Rep. Don
Pridemore said he is exploring a run for DPI superintendent and will make a
decision by Monday.
Pridemore, who was first elected to the Assembly
in 2004, told WisPolitics.com he has been weighing a bid for a
while and decided to explore it further after Superintendent Tony Evers
proposed increasing general and categorical aids $615 million in the upcoming
Pridemore, R-Hartford, accused Evers of seeking
to send the funding “to places where money hasn’t solved the problem before and
more money isn’t going to solve the problem again.”
Pridemore is a former electronics research
technician and electronics design engineer. He served on the Colleges and
Universities and Education committees this session. He also chaired the
Education Reform Committee in the 2007-08 session.
He said his next step is to call supporters to
gauge whether he could raise the necessary money to mount a statewide campaign.
Pridemore estimated he needs $50,000 in commitments for the first month of the
campaign with an overall budget of between $250,000 and $500,000.
Pridemore said Evers has benefitted from the
support of WEAC, but noted the union does not have the financial resources it’s
had in the past because of the guv’s collective bargaining reforms.
“If I can’t raise at least $50,000 within about
the first month, it’s not going to be an effective campaign,” Pridemore said. “I
have to get commitments for that between now and Monday.”