According to the Southwest Journal, Jim Thomas, a longtime Minneapolis Public Schools teacher, dropped out of the race and decided to endorse Mark Andrew's campaign Monday:
"Although I’m stepping out of the mayoral election my commitment to fight against lowering teacher qualifications and for fairly funding public schools is not over," Thomas said at a joint press conference Monday morning. "I’m endorsing Mark Andrew because he stands up for students, families, and teachers. Mark has also focused on closing our opportunity gaps and it’s not empty rhetoric."
After his concession, the following letter was posted on Thomas' campaign website:
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Today at a press conference with Mark Andrew, I announced that I am ending my bid to become Minneapolis’s next mayor and giving my support to Mark. I am just as passionate about fighting for fair funding, smaller class sizes, and keeping highly qualified teachers in the Minneapolis Public Schools as I have ever been. I have come to believe, however, that the best way for me to accomplish my goals is to support the mayoral candidate whose commitment to our public schools most closely matches mine: Mark Andrew.
Mark has repeatedly affirmed his support of early childhood education, fair funding of the Minneapolis Public Schools, maintaining strong neighborhood schools, and the hiring of highly qualified teachers. Mark also understands how critical it is to create more living wage jobs and affordable and stable housing if we really want to close the achievement gap.
I believe Mark has the experience, skills, and values to make an excellent mayor, and I hope you will join me in supporting him.
During the last four months, I have met many remarkable people. I have learned a great deal about our city—and politics! And I have been humbled by your support and encouragement. Know that I will keep working hard to shine a light on what is happening to our public schools. I will keep pressing our city government and school board to ensure that Minneapolis continues to provide an excellent education for all students.
Thanks for your financial contributions, your kind words, your time and effort, and your belief in our public schools. I especially thank the many Minneapolis teachers and other staff whose talents, dedication to students, and commitment to teaching continue to amaze me.
JimMore than 20 candidates for R.T. Rybak's seat are likely, according to MinnPost. The filing period closes today, Tuesday, Aug. 13.