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GOP, Beshear at odds over state board of education vacancies

Associated Press

Kentucky Republicans are calling on Gov. Andy Beshear to fill two vacant seats on the state Board of Education. At least one of the two seats must be filled by a Republican appointee.

The calls for action from the GOP come after a Courier-Journal report indicated that the two seats have been left open for more than a year. Now, Republicans, including Beshear rival Daniel Cameron, are demanding the Democratic governor address the vacancies immediately.

Cameron said in a statement Beshear, who has made public education and support for teachers a centerpiece of his agenda, is “playing politics with the education of our children.”

“As governor, I will eliminate politics from the classroom and follow the law as written. I’ll appoint a board of education that represents the values of the men, women, and children of Kentucky’s 120 counties," Cameron promised in a statement.

Pressed on the question Thursday, Beshear said finding the right candidates has nothing to do with politics.

"I have appointed, or reappointed, Republicans in each of the last two years, and the outstanding vacancies... one of each do not have to be Republican," the governor responded. "So suggesting that that is the driving force behind it is absolutely and totally wrong."

The governor said his administration has followed the General Assembly’s law requiring the board reflect the gender, racial, and political makeup of the state.

Beshear said it’s important to find the right people for the job and he has an interview with a candidate in the coming week.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.