FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Educators rallied in Frankfort on Wednesday to support the 40 teachers running for the Kentucky General Assembly in 2018.

“Importantly across party lines, it is an astounding number of educators and retired educators that are on the ballot,” Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said.

Grimes kicked off the rally and said it was exciting to see so many teachers and a record number of women file to run. She said these historic numbers send a clear message when voters head to the polls in May.

“I think one of the biggest takeaways from our filing day and the entire process is education is a No. 1 issue for voters in this state,” Grimes said to a round of applause.

Tina Bojanowski, a JCPS special education teacher at Watterson Elementary School, is running as a Democrat for the House of Representatives in District 32, which includes part of eastern Jefferson County.

“Public education has been under attack by this administration,” Bojanowski said.

Like many of the teachers at the rally, she said she decided to run for the seat because she wanted to advocate for her students: the future of Kentucky.

“We are going to drive change for the benefit of education,” Bojanowski said. “I feel like Gov. Bevin has had direct attacks on educators. He’s called us unsophisticated. He called JCPS an unmitigated disaster, and we’re frustrated, so frustrated that we decided to make a change.”

Of the 40 candidates, 39 are running for the House of Representatives, and nine are running for the Senate.

“We are ready to make policy and have people here in Frankfort realize the value of our teachers, the value of what they do in the classroom and the value they bring in shaping the next generation here in Kentucky," Grimes said.

The primary is May 22.

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