State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield wouldn’t confirm or deny an unsourced rumor Wednesday that she’ll run for state superintendent of schools.
Branden Durst, who filed paperwork for a state superintendent’s run in January, welcomed Critchfield to the race in a tweet Wednesday morning.
Durst didn’t provide a source for Critchfield’s purported run, but called her out for being a “moderate in the mold of Gov. Little,” who’s “been behind school closures and supporting common core.”
“As the only conservative candidate, I look forward to the contrast with her,” wrote Durst, who served in the Legislature as a Democrat but is running for state superintendent as a Republican.
In a post on his campaign Facebook page, Durst said Critchfield also had “overseen” the hiring of Boise State University President Marlene Tromp.
Critchfield acknowledged seeing the tweet but wouldn’t discuss a possible run.
“Right now, my focus is on supporting students in their crucial year through my work on the State Board of Education,” she said.
Critchfield, a member of the Cassia County Republican Central Committee, was appointed to the State Board in July 2014. She’s a past trustee in the Cassia County School District and is the district’s communications director.
Durst served two terms in the Idaho House from 2007 to 2010. He lost a 2010 state Senate race but was elected again in 2012 and assigned a seat on the Senate Education Committee. He resigned in November 2013 after KTVB reported he was splitting time between Boise and the Seattle area.
Idaho schools chief Sherri Ybarra, a Republican, is in her second term as state superintendent. She has not discussed her re-election plans.
The formal candidate filing period for the race isn’t until early 2022.
However, potential candidates can file paperwork naming a campaign treasurer, a precursor to a run. Durst named a treasurer in January; as of Wednesday, Critchfield has not done so.