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Poll: Frank Riggs has slight lead over Kathy Hoffman in state superintendent race

Posted at 10:19 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 19:09:44-04

ABC15 got an exclusive insight into the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction as education is top of mind for so many Arizonans.

The increased focus on education and the "Red for Ed" movement are putting extra attention on the office this year compared to previous elections, and with early voting already underway new numbers show it is still anyone's race.

"This is one to watch," said Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights.

Right now Republican Frank Riggs has 44 percent of the vote, up three percent from last month, compared to Democrat Kathy Hoffman's 39 percent. The poll's margin of error is four percent.

However, with 17 percent of voters still undecided that lead could change.

"I think that the reason you only saw a slight bump from the last poll, why he actually went up, was due to Trump approvals moving up," Noble said. "So I think that race is close and that one I think there could be an upset."

Hoffman only recently jumped into politics, but the speech therapist has years of experience inside the classroom. Her focus includes addressing the teacher shortage, supporting special education and improving graduation rates."

"We are the experts of education," Hoffman said. "It's the educators who truly know the complexities of our public school system from the ground up."

Riggs is an Army veteran, a former police officer, California congressman, and school board president.  His focus includes closing the achievement gap, revamping the school finance system and taking the lead on school security.

"Using the office as a bully pulpit to advocate for parents, students, educators, the business community and taxpayers in general, those are my strong suits," Riggs said.

One thing both candidates agree on, they are against Prop 305. That would extend the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program, also known as the school voucher program.