'Educator Spring' Spawns Wave of Teacher Candidates

'Educator Spring' Spawns Wave of Teacher Candidates
AP Photo/Wade Payne

Angry educators are flooding down-ballot races in the wake of recent red-state teacher strikes, accelerating the Democratic Party's rebuilding process at the statehouse level and raising the prospect of legislative gains after years of decline.

Nearly 300 members of the American Federation of Teachers union are running for political office this year, more than double the number in each of the years 2012 and 2016. The teacher candidacies are part of a rising tide of political activism in 2018, with nearly 800 candidates running in the first round of Oklahoma's primaries, breaking the previous record of 594 set in 2006, and more than 200 filing to run in next month's Arizona primary — more than ran during each of the previous three election cycles.

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