“But don’t be fooled — Frank Riggs is a far right-wing conservative who aligned himself with some of the most extreme figures and policy stances of the Tea Party movement,” said Devin Rankin, Executive Director of the Arizona List in an email to members. “He made this clear in 2014 during his losing campaign for Governor:
· “Immigration protesters, including… Frank Riggs, had gathered in Oracle, Ariz. to rally against the expected arrival of a busload of Central American migrant children. A group of armed militiamen were providing security for Riggs…” Talking Points Memo, July 2014
· “Riggs has also staked out some conservative stances that could appeal to red-meat primary voters… voicing concerns about Muslim extremists and Sharia law.” Phoenix Business Journal, June 2014
· “I’m honored to receive Ted Nugent’s endorsement,” said Riggs. “Nugent has unparalleled courage of his convictions.” Tucson Weekly, July 2014
Teaching creationism in schools
“Now in 2018, the political winds have shifted, and Riggs is running as a moderate. But he juuuuuust can’t help himself from letting the real Frank Riggs slip out,” Rankin wrote.
· During the Republican primary debate he declared support for teaching creationism in public schools: “Riggs, 67,…said he believes older students in high school are “perfectly capable of looking at the arguments of both sides of evolution.”” (Arizona Republic, August 2018)
· Just last week in a Twitter argument (eye roll), Riggs referred to Asian-American police officers as “Oriental.” Seriously! (Phoenix New Times, October 2018)
“Given our current public education crisis, can Arizona afford to have this man running our Department of Education? A Tea Partier who supports teaching religion as science? Who is so out-of-touch he uses outdated, offensive terms for people of color? Who championed private school vouchers and pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars each year as a charter school executive? NO!!” Rankin wrote.
Kathy Hoffman is the clear choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Kathy is an experienced educator and advocate for students with disabilities. She has fought tirelessly for equal access to high-quality public education regardless of a student’s race, gender, or zip code.
The Arizona Republic agrees: “[Hoffman] is a quick study, with an amiable personality and the ability to listen and set clear goals. She also knows the stark realities teachers face – a perspective that would come in handy as the department re-evaluates how it can best serve the state’s public schools.”