The field is loaded, laden with candidates on the Republican end, as the primary election for state superintendent of education rapidly approaches.
Eight Republicans and four Democrats will compete Tuesday for the top spot in each of their party, and a chance to become South Carolina’s educational leader.
Republican hopefuls include Saluda native Molly Spearman, Meka Childs, Sally Atwater, Sheri Few, Elizabeth Moffly, Don Jordan, Gary Burgess and Amy Cofield.

Candidates in the democratic field include Abbeville native Montrio Belton, Sheila Gallagher, Tom Thompson and Jerry Govan.
Spearman, a long-time educator and current executive director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, leads the race in funding thus far, with total campaign contributions at a little more than $128,000, the vast majority of individual contributions coming from donors within the state of South Carolina.