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State schools superintendent considering run for governor

Georgia state schools Superintendent John Barge says he's considering challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in next year's Republican primary. Georgia state schools Superintendent John Barge says he's considering challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in next year's Republican primary.

State school superintendent John Barge says he may challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the next year's Republican primary.

Barge has served three years as state school superintendent. It would be an uphill battle to unseat Deal as the governor seeks a second term.

"For us to keep heading in the right direction, our school districts and our educators need support, and I just don't necessarily see that they are getting everything that they need," Barge said.

The superintendent has clashed with Gov. Deal over the push for a state charter schools amendment as well as oversight of the federal Race to the Top grants.

Deal has one GOP challenger, Dalton Mayor David Pennington.

Governor's spokesman Brian Robinson issued a statement saying, "If John Barge runs for governor, the good news for Georgians is we can now elect an education leader who'll work on behalf of our children instead of playing politics."

FOX 5 political analyst Matt Towery says the superintendent may have other hopes.

"That is: he wants to keep his current job. He's been picking a fight with the governor for quite some time. The best way to come to ‘You leave me alone, I'll leave me alone' position is to run against the guy," Towery said.

Barge says he expects to make a decision on the governor's race in three to four weeks.

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