Heat over Common Core cools post-primary - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Heat over Common Core cools post-primary

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Republican Party leaders, including new faces, resolved to unite after the primary elections. Republican Party leaders, including new faces, resolved to unite after the primary elections.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Republican Party leaders, including new faces, resolved to unite after the primary elections, while some concluded the explosive debate over Common Core educational standards had not become the game-changing issue some candidates sought to make it.  

"It would be hard to call the state school board races anything but a referendum on the Common Core issue that has become very divisive," concluded Republican State Representative Mike Ball, who celebrated his own victory in winning a position on the Madison County Republican Party's Executive Committee.   

Ball suggested that any serious exploration of the merits or drawbacks of Common Core had become impossible during the primary campaign. 

"I don't ever remember having a meaningful discussion with somebody in the middle of a fight," he said.

Brent Beal, whose group "Republican Refresh" scored several victories in securing places on the Executive Committee, agreed that Common Core became a hot issue, but one that didn't attract much voter support.

"There were a few candidates running against Common Core," Beal said. "They made that their single focus and they said, ‘Well, our goal is to bring down Common Core.' And every candidate that ran on that was defeated."

Beal pointed to candidates like State Senator Bill Holtzclaw, who easily defeated anti Common Core challenger George Berry, and State School Board Member Mary Scott Hunter, who beat challenger Mike Parsons to hold onto her seats on the school board as well as the county and state Republican committees.   

Both had drawn criticism from some Republicans for their support of Common Core, and Hunter was censured by the Madison County committee over the issue last year.

After the primary, committee chairman John Como said that the upheaval had not been extreme and that he looked forward to working with new committee members to support and elect Republican candidates in the future.

Beal said the primary delivered a clear message from voters that they'd heard enough about Common Core for now.

‘I think it is time for us to move on," said Beal. "I think that was a referendum to say, 'You know what? I think they want us to be spending our time in other areas.'"

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