CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Groups representing West Virginia's public school educators are backing House Speaker Rick Thompson in this year's special election for governor.
The West Virginia Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia Education Association jointly announced their support for the Wayne County Democrat on Tuesday.
WVFT President Judy Hale cited Thompson's voting record. Her WVEA counterpart, Dale Lee, said his group endorsed Thompson after a questionnaire and interview process.
The announcement also follows passage of pay raises for teachers and school workers during the just-completed legislative session. Thompson supported that measure over the bonus-like payments proposed by state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, who is acting as governor.
Tomblin and acting Senate President Jeff Kessler, who also advocated permanent raises, are among the other Democratic candidates for governor in the May 14 primary.