Everton Blair files paperwork for state school superintendent race

Blair is a Democrat and chair of the Gwinnett County school board

Gwinnett County Board of Education Chair Everton Blair on Friday registered as a potential candidate for state school superintendent, according to the Georgia Campaign Finance Commission website.

Blair, a Democrat, announced in November that he would not seek reelection to his school board seat in 2022. He was first elected in 2018 and became the board’s first Black, openly gay and youngest-ever member.

ExploreEverton Blair will not seek reelection to Gwinnett school board

The state school superintendent leads the Georgia Department of Education, and is responsible for monitoring schools and distributing state and federal funding to them.

Democrat Dr. Jaha Howard, a dentist who serves on the board of education for Cobb County Public Schools, registered as a potential candidate in October.

ExploreMore stories about Gwinnett County Public Schools

In November, former state school superintendent John Barge said he would campaign in the Republican primary against incumbent Richard Woods.

Blair was elected as the Gwinnett board’s chair for 2021, leading the board through numerous decisions related to the pandemic.

Under his leadership, the board voted to end longtime Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks’ contract nearly a year early. In July, the board unanimously hired Calvin Watts, a longtime Gwinnett school district administrator and then-superintendent of a suburban Seattle district.

Staff writer Ty Tagami contributed to this report.