Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna is walking back his statements on how candidates should get the job.
At multiple forums during the campaign, Hanna said the superintendent should be an appointed office, not a political one. But speaking at a political forum Thursday, Hanna said he changed his mind, characterizing his previous statements to the Tallahassee Democrat as a fluke mistake.
“The Democrat kind of caught me off guard. I watched all of the ugliness, and what it was doing to our employees. And at the spur of the moment I said, appointed,” Hanna said.
But his statements to the newspaper were not a one-off. Hanna made this defense of appointed superintendents at another political forum hosted by WFSU and WCTV.
“It kills me what this does to our employees. Because they’re put in a heck of position when their boss asks them to donate. Or their boss asks them to stand on a corner and wave signs. So when you see abuses like that it begs for an appointed superintendent,” he said.
But Hanna says if voters put the issue on the ballot, he would respect the outcome.
"I think that's the fair thing to do. And if the voters decide they would like to now appoint, for the school board to appoint their superintendent, then absolutely I will step aside, apply for the position and interview before a board just like I did to become a principal," Hanna said.
Some counties in the state do appoint superintendents. But Florida is one of only three states where candidates campaign for the office, instead of submitting a job application.