ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia state schools Superintendent John Barge says he's considering challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in next year's Republican primary.
Barge, who's in his first term as superintendent, said Tuesday that the possible campaign is one of many options he's considering. He said he plans to make a final decision in the next few weeks.
The relationship between Deal and Barge has been noticeably chilly since the two were on opposite sides of the debate over a state charter schools amendment. The measure, opposed by Barge as unnecessary, ultimately passed.
A dispute between the two over who would oversee the state's "Race to the Top" grants recently resurfaced as the federal government warned the state was in danger of losing $9.9 million out of $400 million over teacher evaluations and merit pay.
Barge, like Deal, has ties to Gainesville and Hall County. He served for a time as principal at Chestatee High School. Deal, a longtime Gainesville resident, was a Gainesville lawyer and former state Senator before becoming a member of Congress, representing Georgia's 9th Congressional District, which includes Gainesville. He left Congress in March 2010 and was elected governor later that year. Barge was elected Georgia Superintendent of Schools that same year.
(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)