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In a Kentucky Election, Aggrieved Teachers Flex Their Muscles

When they marched on the statehouse in Frankfort, Ky., in the midst of a spring snowstorm and a political firestorm last year, teachers warned the governor: “We’ll remember in November.”

Nearly 20 months later, they appeared to have delivered on that promise, helping Democrat Andy Beshear receive about 5,100 more votes than Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor’s race. It is a state President Trump carried by 30 points in 2016.

Beshear’s apparent victory comes amid a national teacher uprising in which educators have staged walkouts in more than a dozen states — and some of the nation’s largest school systems — including conservative states like Kentucky.

Now, many teachers have translated that energy to the realm of electoral politics, helping elect candidates who pledge to protect education funding while ousting lawmakers who opposed their causes. Teachers already have helped swing races in Wisconsin and in legislatures in several other states where lawmakers who opposed them were replaced by challengers who pledged to increase education spending.