FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A former Republican candidate for governor
was appointed Thursday to the Kentucky Board of Education.
Beshear appointed Billy Harper, a Paducah businessman, to the
panel. Harper was one of five appointments Gov. Steve Beshear made
to the panel that oversees Kentucky's public elementary schools and
The appointments are to fill four vacancies and one resignation
on the board.
Last year, the board ignored Beshear's request that it reopen
the search for a state education commissioner and expand its search
to include more people nationally. Instead, the board went with Jon
Draud, a former state lawmaker.
Harper finished third in last year's Republican primary for
governor, tallying 27,000 votes in the three-way contest against
former Gov. Ernie Fletcher and former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup.
Harper spent more than $6 million on his campaign, much of which
came from his own personal wealth.
Harper, a member of the McCracken County Board of Education,
focused much of his campaign on education reform. He replaces David
Rhodes and will have a term that expires in 2012.