Teacher beats West Virginia Senate president in GOP primary

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Senate president who was dogged by teacher protests at the statehouse lost to a teacher in his Republican primary reelection bid Tuesday.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael was defeated by Amy Nichole Grady, a teacher from Mason County who snagged the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers West Virginia chapter. In November, Grady will face Bruce Ashworth, a roofing business employee who was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The seat is expected to remain in Republican hands.

Carmichael congratulated Grady on the win via Twitter, saying he looked forward to supporting her campaign in the general election in November “to ensure our district continues to have a leader who will always fight for conservative values.”

Carmichael, a Jackson County Republican, has been the target of dozens of teachers who packed the state Capitol to protest his proposals to create the state’s first charter schools. He has also publicly feuded with Republican Gov. Jim Justice over the issue.

Earlier this year, Carmichael’s Senate GOP leadership had many of its high-profile bills fail, including a proposal to create a new intermediate appeals court, a measure to cut subsidies for greyhound racing and a bill to cut a tax on manufacturing businesses.

Grady has called herself a “Pro-life, Pro-2nd Amendment conservative teacher who is fed up with self-serving elected officials.”

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