Republican state Rep. Don Pridemore says he wants to be Wisconsin's top education leader to bring a conservative approach to the job and increase the connection between schools and businesses.
Pridemore launched his candidacy Monday in Madison.
He is taking on incumbent Tony Evers, who has held the nonpartisan job of secretary of the Department of Public Instruction since 2009.
Pridemore said he will offer a "common sense, conservative approach" to the job. He has been one of the most conservative members of the Legislature and introduced an immigration reform bill similar to what passed in Arizona.
Pridemore said he will work closely with Gov. Scott Walker's administration as state superintendent.
Walker has said he may not endorse anyone in the race.