Three weeks before Election Day, some public school teachers in Kentucky are pressing voters to make Matt Bevin a one-term governor.
Several retired educators brought what they call their “Won’t Be Bullied By Bevin” tour to Bowling Green on Tuesday. The group made stops last week in Henderson and Pikeville.
The tour, spearheaded by the Kentucky Democratic Party, is working to elect Bevin’s Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear, in the Nov. 5 election.
The teachers say Bevin made disparaging remarks toward them during protests over pension reform, accusing them of throwing temper tantrums, being selfish and ignorant, and having a thug mentality. State Representative Patti Minter is a Democrat from Bowling Green, and History Professor at Western Kentucky University.
“That’s not okay behavior," Minter said. "As someone who works in a classroom, that’s not behavior I would allow in my classroom, and it’s not behavior that is appropriate for the chief executive of a great commonwealth like Kentucky.”
Bevin has stated that he regrets nothing he has said about educators and that his comments have been taken out of context. The Republican incumbent said he took on the task of pension reform out of necessity as the retirement plans teeter on bankruptcy.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Andy Beshear’s dad robbed $8 billion from the teachers’ pension plan," Bevin said during a stop in Bowling Green last week. "That should concern people.”
While he has lost political points with many educators, Bevin maintains he’s the only governor to fully fund the teacher’s retirement system, and the first to use 100 percent of lottery proceeds for education.