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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr will be the two candidates on the ballot in the April 6 spring election for state school superintendent.
Underly and Kerr received the most votes in the February 16 primary out of a field of seven candidates.
Underly serves as the superintendent of the Pecatonica school district.
Kerr is the former superintendent of the Brown Deer school district.
One difference between the two candidates is that Underly is opposed to school vouchers, and Kerr is in support of school vouchers.
When parents decide to send their children to private schools, school vouchers allow public funds to go to private schools. Private schools do not have to accept all children as students, however, in the way that public schools are required to provide an education for all students.
According to the unofficial election results, Underly received 88,703 votes statewide, or 27 percent of the votes.
Election results remain “unofficial” until canvassers have certified the election results.
Kerr received, 86,045 votes statewide, or 26 percent of the votes.
Of the remaining candidates, Sheila Briggs, an assistant state superintendent in the Division of Academic Excellence at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, received 50,741 votes — or 16 percent of the total votes cast.
Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams, the Assistant Director of the Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, received 36,829 votes, or 11 percent of the total.
Troy Gunderson, who grew up in Colfax and is the retired superintendent of the West Salem school district, received 27,422 votes statewide, or 8 percent of the total.
Steve Krull, the principal at Garland Elementary in Milwaukee, received 20,518 votes, or 6 percent of the total.
Joe Fenrick, a science teacher at Fond du Lac High School, a supervisor on the Fond du Lac County Board and a geology lecturer at UW-Oshkosh, received 14,504, or 4 percent of the total.
According to news stories, the turnout statewide for the February 16 primary was only 7.2 percent of the voting age population in Wisconsin, or about 325,000 people who voted.
By way of comparison, about 70 percent of the voting age population in the state voted in the November presidential election.