A candidate endorsed by the state teachers union and one with broad support from conservatives who says she is a Democrat advanced in Tuesday’s primary and will square off in April in the race to become Wisconsin’s top education official.

Jill Underly, the Pecatonica Area School District superintendent who won the teachers’ endorsement, and Deborah Kerr, the former superintendent in Brown Deer who was the only candidate with widespread conservative support, were the top two-vote getters in a crowded field of seven candidates, based on unofficial results.

They split more than 54% of all votes cast and will face each other in the April 6 election in the officially nonpartisan race to be secretary of the Department of Public Instruction.

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