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Oklahoma elections: Barresi wins race for state schools superintendent

After 20 years under Superintendent Sandy Garrett, the Oklahoma Department of Education will have new leadership following today's election. Barresi in lead.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Modified: November 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm •  Published: November 3, 2010

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.

“We're going to get some rest and then start the busy work of transition,” Barresi said. “We are going to be assembling a first-rate team, focusing on budget issues making sure we get as much money in classrooms as possible.”

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.

“The results tonight clearly reflect that people are not happy with what's happening at the federal level,” Paddack said. “I think someone said ‘it's a tsunami tonight.

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