Tue September 4, 2012
Teachers Union Could Spend Big on JCPS Board Endorsements
The Jefferson County Teachers Association is prepared to fund campaigns for three candidates it recently endorsed for open school board seats, but union officials have not yet determined how much they may invest.
In previous races JCTA has pumped thousands of independent contributions to candidates and last week a 12-member JCTA committee endorsed David Jones Jr. in District 2, Lloyd “Chip” White in District 4 and Chris Brady in District 7.
The candidates represent diverse backgrounds, said JCPT president Brent McKim.
Jones Jr.--recently endorsed by Mayor Greg Fischer--is a prominent public figure and has strong business relationships, White has public policy experience and Brady is a parent of two. Not all of the endorsed candidates have announced publicly where they stand on key issues in the district, including the recent student assignment plan changes, which many other candidates are running campaigns against.
White told WFPL that he would like more time to meet with constituents before taking any formal stance. Meanwhile, Brady--who has also received an endorsement from exiting District 7 board member Larry Hujo-- said he supports the recent changes.
Brady lacks policy experience, but retired or former JCPS staff is already well represented on the school board, said McKim referring to District 7 candidates Marty Bell and James Sexton, both whom previously worked in the district. McKim said a parents perspective will provide a good balance on key issues.
The JCTA is standing by its endorsements, said McKim who would not speculate on how much the union might spend in the elections.
“I would expect that the committee would probably work very hard for all their candidates and would probably commit resources both in terms of funds and individual efforts to help the candidates," he said.
Other candidates in the race include:
District 2--Elizabeth Berfield, Phil Haming, George Tolhurst
District 4--Melissa "Missy" Smith, Eric Bullock, Chester Flake, Chuck Haddaway, Steve Ryan
District 7--Christopher Fell, James Sexton, Marty Bell, Jonathan Robertson
The elections are November 6.