Dozens of educators file to run for seat in Kentucky legislature

Dozens of educators file to run for seat in Kentucky legislature
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At least 40 educators have filed to run for office in Kentucky.

That number includes 32 Democrats and eight Republicans who have filed to run for a seat in the Kentucky legislature, David Allen, the former president of the Kentucky Education Association, told WKYT.

"It's unprecedented," Allen, who is tracking the number of educators who are running for office this year, said.

"These are teachers, administrators, P-12 educators, active, retired, higher education, paraeducators."

He said educators are moving to run for office due to "frustration."

"It's frustration over past action and it's all been recently exacerbated by the efforts of the General Assembly to meet behind closed doors and push legislation through," Allen said.

The communications director for the Republican Party of Kentucky said he thinks there are a number of reasons educators are vying to run for office in the state.

"I think some are legitimately unhappy and I know that the Democrats made a concerted effort to seek out and recruit teachers, so I think that's why you see an increased number," Tres Watson said.

He added he believes a lot of the "anger and fervor is going to die down because they're going to realize we listened to their concerns just like legislators are supposed to."

Primaries in Kentucky will be held May 22 and the general election will be in November.

School across Kentucky closed this week so teachers could take part in a statewide rally to protest a pension reform bill.

The rally came after state lawmakers passed a bill changing the structure of pension benefits for future teachers.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said last Thursday that teachers owe lawmakers a "debt of gratitude" for passing the bill. 

"Anyone who will receive a retirement check in the years ahead owes a deep debt of gratitude to these 71 men & women who did the right thing," Bevin tweeted last week.