LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Three Jefferson County representatives with decades of experience will not be seeking re-election in the state legislature. This leaves space for new challengers, and one profession is coming out in numbers to the race.
There are 40 active and retired teachers and administrators who filed to run for the General Assembly this year. Matthew Kaufmann is a high school English teacher at Marion C. Moore and is planning his possible career change.
"I never planned to get into office," Kaufmann said.
Kaufmann says education is his first passion. He has 11 years of teaching experience and told us he is sickened by the decisions being made in Frankfort that affect him and his students.
"Recently it feels like education, working families, and individuals are under attack," he said.
Kaufmann is seeking a seat in the Senate representing the 26th District.
As the educators prepare for the primaries, veterans in the General Assembly are making way.
"It's time to pass the baton to a younger person," Jim Wayne, State Representative of the 35th District, said.
Wayne will retire after 28 years in the state legislature. While Wayne said he's proud of his contribution to affordable housing and campus security, he is embarrassed by the state's financial situation. He says new faces and ideas are needed at the table.
"I'm glad the educators are fired up and that they are organized," Wayne said. "I'm thrilled they are going to be out there campaigning because we need their voices in Frankfort."
Thirty-three of the educators running are Democrats, and three are Republicans. There are 11 seats opening which are currently held by Democrats, and Republicans in Frankfort say they will play heavily.
Kaufmann said he will focus on education and wants to bring his unique experience to Frankfort.
"I am not your traditional candidate," he said. "My goal in teaching is to help students to become the best possible versions of them, and that's what I want for the constituents also."
In Louisville there are also five councilwomen not seeking re-election. Mary Woolridge of District 3, Vicki Welch of District 13, and Marianne Butler of District 15 are all retiring.
In District 7, Angela Leet will run in the mayoral race , and Julie Denton of District 19 is not seeking re-election.