JCTA pulls Toborowsky endorsement

After an investigation by WAVE-TV, the Jefferson County Teacher’s Association has withdrawn its endorsement of school board candidate David Toborowsky, citing problems with the political newcomer’s residency.

“Over the last several days, Better Schools Kentucky learned of some new information that raises questions about Mr. Toborowsky’s candidacy,” JCTA President Brent McKim said in a statement. “After looking into this matter further, Better Schools Kentucky has decided, at this time, to withdraw the endorsement … and to discontinue its independent expenditures backing his endorsement, effective immediately.”

The controversy surrounds the address Toborowsky used when filing to run for the District 3 seat. The house listed in Toborowsky’s paperwork was a house he had been renting from former Republican mayoral candidate and real estate developer Chris Thienemen. In an interview with WAVE, Thienemen told the news channel that Toborowsky asked to move in shortly before the filing deadline.

From WAVE-3:

We wanted to know if Toborowsky changed his residency for the sole purpose of running for the school board seat in District 3.

“To answer the question, yes. Did I move there to run for office? The answer is yes,” said Toborowsky.

We asked Toborowsky to clear up questions about where he’s living, because we found several addresses for him, but none in District 3.

The teacher’s union raised eyebrows when it gave Toborowky the nod over incumbent board president Debbie Wesslund for the District 3 seat. In 2006, JCTA endorsed Wesslund and spent over $100,000 promoting their support for her through their political action committee’s independent expenditures.

In August, however, Insider Louisville reported that McKim had recruited Toborowsky, a 42-year-old health care consultant, to run against Wesslund in order to guarantee JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman’s contract would be renewed. At the time, McKim denied the charge in a telephone interview with LEO.

When we asked what had changed over the past four years, McKim told LEO that Wesslund’s lack of support for Jefferson County’s application for the Race for the Top initiative and her recent emphasis on test scores played the biggest role.

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  1. [...] In 2006, Wesslund benefited from a teachers union endorsement that  amounted to over $100,000. [...]