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State superintendent forum Friday
The News, Liberty Alliance host forum
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With Common Core’s place in Georgia schools being hotly debated and education being linked ever closer with business needs and the health of the economy, Georgia’s state school superintendent race has no shortage of pressing issues.

The Covington News and Newton Conservative Liberty Alliance, a local conservative group, are hosting the final of their three primary forums, this one for the crowded state school superintendent seat, at 7 p.m., Friday at Peachtree Academy’s Covington campus, 14101 U.S. Highway 278.

Out of the 15 candidates seeking the seat, six have confirmed they’ll be at Friday’s forum, including Republicans Mark Kay Bacallao, Ashley Bell, Nancy Jester, Kira Willis and Richard Woods and Democrat Denise Freeman.

The candidates who won’t be attending include Republicans Mike Buck, Allen Fort and T. Fitz Johnson and Democrats Sharyl Dawes, Tarnisha Dent, Jurita Mays, Alisha Morgan, Rita Robinzine and Valarie Wilson.

The event is being sponsored by Peachtree Academy, which is allowing its facility to be used for free, and Square Perk Café. The forum will take place in Peachtree Academy’s gymnasium behind the school’s front building on the east side.

The forum will be moderated by Peachtree Academy founder JaNice Van Ness, Alex Johnson, an Atlanta attorney and GOP activist, and Trey Ragsdale, a political activist and healthcare industry professional.

The News will live stream the event at The full recording of the forum will also be posted on after the event.

Anyone with suggested questions can send them to either The News or Liberty Alliance on Facebook or via email to or