Bartow County Board of Education Chairman Derek Keeney announced that he will be running for State Senate. Keeney heavily emphasized that he will campaign on a conservative Republican platform with Evangelical Christian ideals.


The announcement came at the Bartow County GOP meeting on Saturday afternoon, where he said elected offices were now seen as entitlements to the ‘political elite’. Keeney said that he wanted the federal government to have a smaller role in Georgians’ day to day lives. He also said that his vision of education would not include Critical Race Theory.


CRT is a school of thought that focuses on how race can affect one’s social standing, a challenge to the idea that racial inequality is a thing of the past.


However, when asked if he opposed teaching about the racial discrimination that has occurred in the country’s past, Keeney said that he did see the need to be truthful about the nation’s history of ‘unfortunate treatment’.


“I think we should be truthful about our country and our heritage, and that does include very unfortunate treatment of all people of all different races and economic places,” Keeney said in an interview with WBHF. “I certainly think that we should not gloss over the truth.”


Keeney pointed to the Hillsdale College curriculum as a blueprint for teaching. Hillsdale College is a private conservative liberal arts college, which has also produced literature advocating against CRT.


When asked if a bid for State Senate had always been part of his career plan, Keeney said that the opportunity presented itself.


“I wouldn’t say it’s really been a long-term goal. I wanted to serve our community in a more effective way when I ran for Board of Education,” said Keeney. “This opportunity presented itself, and several people in my circle of influence encouraged me to run […] and allow someone else to carry on the traditions of the School Board. The timing was great, so I threw my name in the hat.”


If elected, Keeney would represent District 14, which includes Bartow, Cobb, and Cherokee counties. Senator Bruce Thompson currently holds this seat.