Senate committee stalls Tim Carter nomination to state education board
PRESCOTT - Yavapai County Superintendent Tim Carter apparently will have to wait until next year for a Senate confirmation to the state Board of Education after Committee on Education Chairwoman Kelli Ward pulled Carter's name from consideration Tuesday morning, March 31.
Barbara Lubin, communications director for the Arizona Democratic Party, said she was watching the committee proceedings online when Sen. David Bradley, D-Tucson, inquired about Carter's name being stricken from the agenda.
Ward exercised her discretion as committee chairwoman, Lubin said.
"She's at least being consistent," she said, noting Ward's opposition seemed to have been connected to Carter's involvement in developing the state's College and Career Ready Standards, the state's implementation of Common Core.
Ward was the driving force two years in a row with unsuccessful bills that would have blocked the new standards from going into effect.
The move puts Carter in a probationary period of sorts. Without Senate approval, Carter can still take his position on the state Board of Education; however, state law provides for the Senate to consider his nomination again in the 2016 session.
Rep. Karen Fann said the news from the Senate committee shocked her.
"I was not only surprised, but amazed and appalled," Fann said.
She said she had emailed committee members to support Carter's nomination.
"He is such an admirable man, and he would be wonderful for the Board of Education," Fann said. "I'm extremely frustrated and I understand the governor is too."
"She may have underestimated Yavapai County," Fann said. "I think she stirred up a hornet's nest."
She noted Carter is a Republican and has strong support from conservative groups in the county, including the Republican Women of Prescott, the nation's largest Republican women's group.
Lubin said normally Arizona's governors have arranges meetings between committees and nominees. Gov. Doug Ducey didn't do that for the Board of Education nominees, she said
"I understand Ducey's office is very upset with her (Ward)," Lubin said.
Both Fann and Lubin pointed to recent political posturing by Ward, who is considering a primary challenge against U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2016.
"She's absolutely positioning herself," Lubin said.
Three other nominees passed the committee: Chuck Schmidt, Chris Deschene and Jared Taylor, the latter having shown his anti-Common Core position as an active advocate for Arizonans Against Common Core.
A fifth nominee, Arizona State University President Michael Crow, did not appear on the Senate committee's agenda Tuesday.
Carter was unable to be reached by telephone Tuesday, and requests for comment went unanswered from both Ward and the governor's office.
Follow reporter Les Bowen on Twitter @NewsyLesBowen