Former S.C. Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges endorsed state Rep. Mike Anthony for state schools' chief Tuesday.
"Mike Anthony has spent his life dedicated to public schools - as a classroom teacher and state champion football coach," Hodges said in a news release from Anthony's campaign. "He's the kind of person our public schools need - a proven leader with a track record of success in our schools. I have every reason to believe he will be that strong advocate for kids, parents and teachers we desperately need." Anthony, a retired public school teacher and football coach, is one of two Democrats who have announced bids for their party's nomination for the state's top education post.
Montrio Belton of Fort Mill, a former public-school educator and state Department of Education employee, also has announced he's running.
In response to Hodges' endorsement, Anthony, said:
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"Governor Hodges was truly an education governor," Anthony said. ”He made public education his highest priority and as a result our schools made great strides during his tenure. His work to establish the education lottery and 'First Steps' program have done wonders for South Carolina public schools. I'm truly honored that Governor Hodges has decided to support my candidacy."