Re Jim Rex, whom we will meet later

I got this e-mail this morning from Zeke Stokes of Columbia:

     While I agree whole-heartedly with your assessment that South Carolina’s schools are improving and that we must continue the progress, I have to take issue with your implication that only one candidate in this race is equipped to do that. I mentioned to you at Galivant’s Ferry that I am running Jim Rex’s race for State Superintendent of Education, and regardless of who the Republican nominee is, South Carolinians will have a qualified, electable alternative in Jim come November, yet you didn’t mention that in your column on Sunday
    I ran Inez Tenenbaum’s races for this seat, and she has proven that this is a race in  which South Carolinians will take a strong look at the candidates’ credentials before considering the Party to which they belong, as evidenced by the fact that she carried the ticket in 1998, ahead of strong showings by Fritz Hollings and Jim Hodges, as well as in 2002, when most Democrats lost their races for statewide office. If, before the primary, there is an opportunity to make this point in your coverage of the race, I hope you will do that as well. 
    In addition, I have to take issue with your assertion that Democrats should cross over to help Mr. Staton in his primary. Party primaries are designed to allow each party to select its candidates and to put forth the candidate that it thinks will best represent its views in the general election. Democrats have done that in this race, by choosing to nominate Jim Rex without a primary. In fact, when Jim entered the race, the primary field cleared, in part because his strong education background, coupled with the support of people like Dick Riley and Inez Tenenbaum, made him the obvious choice for Democrats. On June, 13 Republicans have the same opportunity, and Democrats ought to allow that process to unfold without crossing over to "sabotage" the outcome. 
    I hope you will take a fresh look at this race after the primary, regardless of who Republicans choose. As always, Jim and I are available to speak with you should you have a need to do so. The best way to reach me is on my cell at (deleted for blog purposes).

Many thanks,

I replied to Zeke as follows:

    My column had nothing to do with your guy; he’s not, last time I looked, seeking the contested nomination. I would have mentioned the three also-rans before I would have mentioned a guy who’s not even in a primary. And I had no space to waste on them.
    Maybe you want to run against Mrs. Floyd (maybe to fire up your base or something), but given the chance that she could well win the whole thing, I’d much rather not see South Carolina take such a risk.
    We’re far better off with a choice between Staton v. Rex.
    Do you disagree?
    You seem to be concerned about parties and their prerogatives; I despise parties, and the sooner voters divest themselves from all partisan identification whatsoever, the better off our state and country will be. I care about what’s good for South Carolina, not what’s good for a party.
    By the way, I plan to post this exchange on my blog (I hate to spend time typing if readers can’t see it). I’ll leave out your cell number. I’ll be glad to put up any responses you have, as well.
    I look forward to talking with you AFTER this mess is over. One hill at a time.
— Brad Warthen

That’s it, for now.

6 thoughts on “Re Jim Rex, whom we will meet later

  1. Randy E

    Brad, please give Zeke some advance warning. We’d like some details about those skimpy proposals on their website.

  2. Spencer Gantt

    Who’s Zeke? Who’s Jim Rex? Who cares?”
    To paraphrase Jim Goad: “No matter who wins, the government still gets elected”.
    There’s not a dimes worth of difference in all of these candidates.
    Who wins elections? Politicians.

  3. Will Folks

    I had the opportunity to “debate” Dr. Rex on the radio a few weeks back. I found him to be an extremely polished, intelligent, articulate and effective advocate of what he believes in.
    We obviously disagreed, but he will be a formidable candidate come July.

  4. Randy E

    Will, I’m a democrat and a teacher. He’s already lost my vote if Staton wins and I’ll be lobbying my friends.

  5. Capital A

    What 40 watt radio station is giving Will Folks the consideration of so much as even doing a bumper for boiled peanuts over the air?
    How many buckyballs did this broadcast dissipate, and was it broadcast before or after Pappy O’Daniel’s Flour Hour?

  6. Edward Murray

    As an individual who was a candidate for this office (briefly) I had occasion to interact with both Bob Staton and Jim Rex. I chose to withdraw from the race because I believed that Jim Rex shared my vision for real, substantive, and innovative change in the public school system. Jim understands every aspect of the challenges that will confront the next Superintendent; and, in my personal conversations with Jim, he has shown a high degree of concern for every element of the constituency of this office.
    I believe Bob Staton is also a man of integrity and his race for this office is well intentioned, but it lacks a critical experience element — that of having been in the classroom. Jim Rex will serve every citizen of South Carolina and he will do it effectively and efficiently. If I wasn’t convinced of that, I would not have withdrawn from the race.


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