Superintendent joins republicans endorsing democrat

6:08 AM, Sep 21, 2010   |    comments
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  • File photo of Republican candidate Justin Amash.
  • Democratic candidate Pat Miles.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - School superintendents often lobby in Lansing or Washington on educational issues, but they usually don't publicly support a specific candidate.

Rockford school superintendent Michael Shibler is breaking with that custom.

"Somebody has got to be the squeaky wheel, right?" he asks.

Shibler calls himself an independent, but he joined over 50 Republicans Monday to endorse Democrat Pat Miles in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District.

Shibler says Republican candidate Justin Amash won't reveal his position on education, and as a state lawmaker has consistently voted for cuts in per pupil spending.

"Justin Amash isn't interested," says Shibler. "If he isn't interested now is he going to be interested if he gets elected? I don't think so."

Shibler is chairman of the Friends of Kent County Schools political action committee. He says the Rockford School Board supports his decision to express his political views publicly.

"I've taken the position now that I'm going to state my positions and be aggressive in the political process," he says. "I owe it to the kids, not just in Rockford, but Kent County as well."

Shibler, who is 64, also says he wouldn't rule out running for political office himself in the future to address educational issues from the inside.

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