The political action committee for the Kentucky Education Association, the state’s teachers’ union and largest educator member organization, has unanimously endorsed Democrat Andy Beshear for governor.
All 24 members of the committee voted for Beshear over Republican Governor Matt Bevin.
“Bevin has proven he is a failed governor who has been unable to even work with representatives from his own party. Kentucky can’t afford another four years of his incompetence,” KEA president Eddie Campbell said in a press release.
Bevin’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on those statements.
In an interview with WFPL, Campbell was more restrained. He cited Bevin’s past budgets and his negative comments toward teachers as justification for the endorsement.
“If you picked up a paper, you’ve probably seen some kind of comment that’s been made about or toward educators in the state. So I think those are a few reasons that have led the committee to overwhelmingly endorse General Beshear,” Campbell said.
In its announcement, KEA praised Beshear for using his position as Kentucky’s Attorney General to block Bevin’s “anti-public education policies” in court, noting Beshear’s state Supreme Court win to reject the “sewer bill” that would have changed pension benefits for future teachers.
“Andy Beshear has proven that he has the best interests of students and educators in Kentucky in mind as Attorney General,” Campbell said. “We are confident that he will continue to champion public education as our next governor.”
Campbell said the association will encourage its more than 44,000 members and their families to support Beshear in the November election.
Beshear’s running mate, Jacqueline Coleman — an assistant principal — is a member of KEA; the association noted that in its endorsement. On the campaign trail, Beshear has said he invited Coleman to run alongside him for lieutenant governor to demonstrate his commitment to public education and to draw on her expertise as an educator.
KEA endorsed these candidates in other statewide races:
- Heather French Henry (D) for Secretary of State
- Greg Stumbo (D) for Attorney General
- Michael Bowman (D) for State Treasurer
- Sheri Donahue for (D) Auditor of Public Accounts
- Ryan Quarles (R) for Commissioner of Agriculture