Democrat candidate Ron Davis said Friday he plans to withdraw his name from consideration for the state Board of Education District 1 seat, clearing a path for Republican candidate Jackie Zeigler to be elected in November.

State Board of Education District 1 Republican candidate Jackie Zeigler.

State Board of Education District 1 Republican candidate Jackie Zeigler.

Davis said he is concerned about issues at home in Prichard and would not be able to devote enough time to the Board of Education.

“I realize that as a citizen of Prichard, when murders and other crimes are not being solved along with mismanagement, I should get back involved at home to make sure we elect a mayor that cares about the people’s interest,” Davis said in a statement. “My decision today, after much consideration, I have decided to withdraw my name from the state school board race.”

Zeigler, who worked 37 years in public education, is the former principal of Mary B. Austin Elementary School in Mobile. She has been publicly opposed to Common Core academic standards and recently told Lagniappe she believes benchmarks and standards should be decided at the state, not federal, level. She also said the Common Core standards too often focus on the abstract rather than on “concrete levels of cognitive fluency.”

She urged state legislators to vote against the PREP Act, which aimed to shift Alabama teachers from a three-year tenure track to a five-year system. The act would also allow teachers to maintain tenure based on student performance and professional evaluations.

Davis, who previously served two terms as mayor of Prichard and one term on the City Council, said he is comfortable with supporting Zeigler, who defeated incumbent Matthew Brown in the Republican runoff for the seat on Tuesday.

“Back in November when I qualified as a Democrat for state school board, my goal was to see Alabama education rise to one of the nation’s best,” Davis said. “I believe Mrs. Zeigler’s record and passion for education will help improve our state’s education.”

District 1 encompasses more than 110,000 students in 154 public schools located in Baldwin, Mobile, Conecuh, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw and Escambia counties. The district is also home to city school systems in Andalusia, Brewton, Chickasaw, Opp, Saraland and Satsuma.