For the first time ever, an elected Republican will lead the State Department of Education. Janet Barresi won a commanding victory Tuesday for state schools superintendent. Barresi ran on a platform of education reform, drawing on her experience founding two charter schools in Oklahoma City. â€œWe're going to get some rest and then start the busy work of transition,â€ Barresi said. â€œWe are going to be assembling a first-rate team, focusing on budget issues making sure we get as much money in classrooms as possible.â€ With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Barresi had 55 percent of the votes to Democratic candidate Susan Paddack's 38 percent. Richard Cooper, an independent candidate, received 7 percent. Paddack, a state senator who has two years remaining in her second term, said she will continue her life's work in education by serving her district in the Senate. â€œThe results tonight clearly reflect that people are not happy with what's happening at the federal level,â€ Paddack said. â€œI think someone said â€˜it's a tsunami tonight.' â€ For the last 20 years, Sandy Garrett has held the superintendent's post. Garrett, a Democrat, won four consecutive elections beginning in 1990 for the state's top education seat, but she declared early this election season that she would not seek a fifth term. â€œThe children of Oklahoma don't have time for politics and political games,â€ Barresi said of being the first Republican in the post since one was appointed for a short time in 1988. â€œEvery one of us has to work together for the children of Oklahoma.â€ Barresi, 58, said the secret to the academic success of her charter schools was the mandate-free control her administrators and board had over decisions regarding the budget, curriculum and the hiring and firing of teachers. After the transition, and dealing with what is shaping up to be a difficult budget year, Barresi said the real reforms will begin.