COLUMBIA — The widow of Republican campaign strategist Lee Atwater, known for his take-no-prisoners tactics, has officially entered the race to be South Carolina’s next schools superintendent.

Sally Atwater filed her initial disclosure Wednesday after opening a campaign account with a $47,575 loan to herself.

Atwater says she’s leaving her job Friday as a special education teacher in Colleton County to campaign full-time in her first run for elected office.

The 62-year-old Union native was widowed in 1991, when Lee Atwater died of complications from a brain tumor, leaving her a single mom of three young girls. She returned to South Carolina — and the classroom — in 2012.

Lee Atwater is considered the pioneer of modern day attack politics. He engineered wins for Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush.