Kentucky GOP seeks school closure records from Dem governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Still fuming over pandemic-era shutdowns, Kentucky Republicans are pushing to obtain behind-the-scenes correspondence that Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear

and his inner circle had about school closures at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. Their sweeping request comes as Beshear ramps up his bid for a second term this year

in a state Republicans have come to dominate. A dozen Republicans are competing for a shot at trying to unseat Beshear, whose approval ratings have remained high on the strength

of his response to tornadoes and flooding as well as a string of economic development and infrastructure successes. Such a broad-based records request isn't uncommon among

political operatives. The Kentucky GOP wants to dig into pandemic-era correspondence received or sent by Beshear and key administration members, looking for any

opportunities to inflict damage on education and pandemic management issues that Beshear has championed as governor. They've asked for communications about school closures, remote

learning and nontraditional instruction. The GOP lawmakers who control Kentucky’s legislature were relegated to the sidelines during the early stages of the outbreak, when

the governor largely controlled the state’s pandemic policies. Their aim: to link the governor to flagging statewide test scores reflecting pandemic-related setbacks among

students, which were part of a nationwide trend. Beshear has said his stewardship of the state during the pandemic outbreak saved lives and that he followed guidance from

former President Donald Trump’s administration. He also said throughout the pandemic that he was “done with politics” in shaping coronavirus policies.