Seeking a challenger to Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Idaho Democrats are attempting to draft Barbara Morgan, the former teacher from McCall and astronaut. Morgan is now a distinguished educator in residence at Boise State.
Emily Walton of Boise started an electronic petition Wednesday, writing, “It doesn’t take rocket science to be a good superintendent of schools. But it sure would be a nice contrast to our current superintendent.”
Former Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant floated Morgan’s name, a development reported Wednesday by Boise Weekly.
Morgan didn’t reject the idea, the Weekly reported, but laughed at length. “That’s funny. I really can’t tell you anything, but that’s an interesting rumor.”
Morgan would be a formidable candidate, even as a Democrat in a heavily GOP state. Stanford educated, a former elementary school teacher and as media savvy as they come, Morgan has star power. Were Luna to seek a third term, he must overcome voters’ sound rejection of his Propositions 1, 2 and 3 in November.
Every statewide office and all four seats in Congress have been held by Republicans since Congressman Raul Labrador replaced Walt Minnick in 2011. But Democrats have had success running for superintendent. Marilyn Howard held the job from 1999 to 2007, defeating Luna in 2002.