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Underly, Kerr Square Off to be Wisconsin Education Chief

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

It’s election day in Wisconsin.

In the race to become the state’s next top education official, a rural superintendent backed by Democrats faces a retired suburban Milwaukee superintendent largely supported by Republicans.

Pecatonica Superintendent Jill Underly also has the backing of the state teachers union.

She faces former Brown Deer Superintendent Deb Kerr, a supporter of the private school voucher program

The race to become secretary of the state Department of Public Instruction is officially nonpartisan.

But Democrats and their money lined up solidly behind Underly while Kerr found support from Republicans, including former Gov. Scott Walker.

This year outside spending in the race topped $1 million.

That’s the most ever spent by special interests trying to influence the race.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tracks spending in the race.

It said yesterday that groups supporting Underly or opposing Kerr spent nearly $800,000.  

One group spent $200,000 to help Kerr.

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