7 candidates jockey to be next Arizona schools chief

PHOENIX (AP) - After tens of thousands of Arizona teachers walked out of their classrooms in protest over pay and funding this spring, voters must decide whether to choose a new chief of the public school system.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is running for re-election in a five-way Republican primary. Two candidates are in the Democratic primary.

Both Republican and Democratic candidates say Douglas has failed to effectively lead the Arizona Department of Education at a time when educators were frustrated enough to storm the Capitol.

Teachers throughout Arizona staged a six-day walkout in June that led many districts to close schools.

Douglas unseated a Republican incumbent and inspired a failed recall effort after winning in 2014. She says her opponents haven't been in her shoes.

Arizona's primary is Aug. 28.