RM EXCLUSIVE: Bush to appoint Yecke
I can confirm through multiple sources that Cheri Yecke will be dropping out of the 6th District race within the next few hours.
Although a rumor has been floating around for a few weeks now that she is dropping out, I can tell you that what you’ve been reading on blogs and hearing in smoke filled back rooms is only half true.
Yecke is not dropping out for financial reasons as some would think. Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2008 contender, has asked Yecke to be his Chancellor of Education. Yecke, of course, has accepted. While Yecke’s supporters will no doubt miss her in the race, they can take comfort that she will be formulating education policy in Florida over the next few years. As always, Yecke has the potential and is qualified to be the US Secretary of Education when and if the post ever opens in the Bush White House. No word on who, if anyone, Yecke will be endorsing.
While the ramifications for this are not yet know, it is speculated that Dan Nygaard is getting ready to jump in the race. Apparently his op-ed in the Star Tribune a few weeks back was meant to test the waters, and was well received within the 6th. This could be the break that Nygaard needs, with delegates and voters alike disillusioned with the three legislator/candidates, which leaves just Esmay, who has yet to generate a great deal of buzz.
Excuse me as I get my popcorn and watch the four remaining candidates trip over themselves trying to take advantage of one of their fellow candidates dropping out. The one to watch is Michele Bachmann: with her chief advisor rumored to have left the campaign over the weekend, one wonders if Bachmann will be able to woo Yecke's delegates before the other candidates can.
Good luck Dr. Yecke. Here's to hoping that Florida treats you better than Minnesota.
UPDATE: Here's the campaign press release.
Governor Jeb Bush Taps Yecke for Florida K-12 Education Position
Yecke leaves sixth district race
Blaine—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.”
“The accomplishments of Governor Bush’s administration in the area of student achievement hold national significance. For example, since 1999, the percentage of black fourth grade students reading at grade level has increased from 23 percent to 56 percent. It is obvious that the Bush team is making significant progress in the area of academic achievement, and I am looking forward to being a part of that effort.”
“As I leave Minnesota for Florida, I look back on the educational accomplishments of the Pawlenty administration and am honored to have been a part of that effort,” said Dr. Yecke. “Repealing the Profile, creating new, rigorous academic standards, and establishing the state’s first comprehensive system of school accountability is a legacy of which to be proud.”
According to Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Florida is fortunate to have Cheri Pierson Yecke coming on board to lead their K-12 reform efforts. Her leadership in Minnesota provided strong and rigorous academic standards and the first ever statewide accountability system for schools.
“Dr. Yecke has a strong appetite for change and reform and has never been afraid to challenge the status quo. We are confident she’ll do great work in Florida.”
Dr. Yecke concluded: “There are a number of very strong and honorable candidates seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party in the sixth district. I wish each of them well, and am confident that the delegates to the convention will make a good decision to ensure that Congressman Kennedy’s seat remains in Republican hands.”
Yecke will start her new position in Florida in early October.- 30 -
Keep checking RM for updates.
UPDATE 2: Check out what KvM has to say about it...at risk of spoiling it, they point out that Yecke is close to not one, but multiple 2008 GOP possible nominees.
UPDATE 3: MN Lefty Liberal, the only semi-decent liberal blog out there, has posted a press release from the Steve Kelley for Governor campaign. Kelley may have been able to lead the ouster of Yecke from her MN education post, but looks like Yecke has had her revenge. Kelley’s little claim of a GOP “power grab” will most likely go unnoticed in tomorrow’s papers with news of Yecke leaving the race. I’m sure that somewhere, Dr. Yecke is smiling.
UPDATE 4: Andy, my new favorite blogger, has Michele Bachmann's reaction here. Yes Andy, your lights are better than mine.
UPDATE 5: Check out SCSU Scholar's take on it.
UPDATE 6: First MSM article on Yecke leaving the race.
UPDATE 7: The First Ring takes a look at what this means to the race here.
UPDATE 8: Check out the Star Tribune's article. It goes indepth, unlike the AP article.