Monday, August 29, 2005

Cheri Yecke leaves the race, the state (updated) 

(Note update in middle of post on character of chancellor position) Cheri Yecke has accepted a position as Chancellor of K-12 education in Florida. I just received this release from Yecke twenty minutes ago.
Cheri Pierson Yecke today announced that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has invited her to play a lead role on his education team. Yecke will end her Sixth Congressional District bid to help implement Governor Bush�s reform agenda.

�I am honored to have been asked by Governor Jeb Bush to be such a significant part of his education team,� said Yecke. �It is therefore with deep regret that I announce that I will no longer be a candidate for Minnesota�s sixth district Congressional seat.�

�I will be forever grateful to the many people who have given me support in this
congressional race. The volunteers and delegates who have worked for me, and the donors who have sent financial support, have served to create a strong and dynamic campaign. However, the opportunity to work for Governor Jeb Bush on an issue for which I am so passionate is an honor I cannot pass up.�

I am a bit shocked, though her bid at the Congressional seat was probably against long odds with such a deep field of candidates. She certainly must have felt the same to have dropped out at this point for a position that appears to be less than another commissionership. UPDATE (10pm): I got a note indicating that the chancellor's position is in fact identical to the MN Commissioner's spot. Their commissioner of education oversees both K-12 and higher ed. I regret that mistake. This makes the move all the more understandable. Moreover, from her bio from her soon-to-be-defunct website,
Dennis and Cheri are proud of their daughters and their new son-in-law. Their oldest daughter, Anastasia (28,) is a marketing executive in Miami. Their youngest daughter, Tiffany (25), is a doctoral student who is married to a Marine Corps Captain, Aaron Brooks. Aaron is currently deployed overseas in the war on terror.
And I believe Tiffany's doctoral program is also in Florida.

I am saddened, too, on a personal level, as I have come to know Cheri as a delightful and energetic mind with both wit and grace and conviction. She is not bashful about what she believes, and her forcefulness probably pushed a few people who might have supported her into quiescence due to the force of the people who attacked her. I know a few lefty bloggers who will be happy to help her pack her bags, along with the leadership of Education Minne$ota. She has that effect on people. But the woman was not for turning, as Margaret Thatcher said. A little more steel and a little less compromising ... actually, Cheri stood for the things we argue Tim Pawlenty now needs.

Governor Bush is getting a good person. And it's not like she took just any state's education policy position. Jeb Bush has made education a top priority among his initiatives with the A+ Plan and Voluntary Pre-K programs. It's a good state to be an innovator for education.

Good luck and farewell, Cheri.

UPDATES: Original post was unclear on the position she took because it wasn't specified in Yecke's release. Update reflects release of Florida DOE.

Republican Minnesota appears to have had the story before the Yecke release.