Kentucky Rep. Chad McCoy to retire at end of current term

April 15, 2022 GMT
FILE - Republican Rep. Chad McCoy speaks during a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 563 for public school open borders, March 11, 2021, in Frankfort, Ky. McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. The bill aimed at jump-starting the introduction of charter schools in Kentucky won approval from a Senate panel on Monday, March 28, 2022, putting it one vote away from clearing the Republican-led legislature. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP, File)
FILE - Republican Rep. Chad McCoy speaks during a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 563 for public school open borders, March 11, 2021, in Frankfort, Ky. McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. The bill aimed at jump-starting the introduction of charter schools in Kentucky won approval from a Senate panel on Monday, March 28, 2022, putting it one vote away from clearing the Republican-led legislature. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP, File)
FILE - Republican Rep. Chad McCoy speaks during a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 563 for public school open borders, March 11, 2021, in Frankfort, Ky. McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. The bill aimed at jump-starting the introduction of charter schools in Kentucky won approval from a Senate panel on Monday, March 28, 2022, putting it one vote away from clearing the Republican-led legislature. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP, File)
FILE - Republican Rep. Chad McCoy speaks during a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 563 for public school open borders, March 11, 2021, in Frankfort, Ky. McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. The bill aimed at jump-starting the introduction of charter schools in Kentucky won approval from a Senate panel on Monday, March 28, 2022, putting it one vote away from clearing the Republican-led legislature. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP, File)
FILE - Republican Rep. Chad McCoy speaks during a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 563 for public school open borders, March 11, 2021, in Frankfort, Ky. McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. The bill aimed at jump-starting the introduction of charter schools in Kentucky won approval from a Senate panel on Monday, March 28, 2022, putting it one vote away from clearing the Republican-led legislature. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky state Rep. Chad McCoy, a member of the House leadership team who helped navigate a charter schools bill into law, said he will retire from the legislature when his current term ends.

The Bardstown Republican announced his decision Thursday night, shortly after lawmakers ended their 60-day session. McCoy was often at the forefront of the session, pushing for the contentious bill to launch charter schools in Kentucky and supply them with funding.

“I’ve said all along that I have no intention to become a career politician and the time has come to move on to the next chapter,” McCoy, 51, said in a news release.

McCoy, an attorney, was elected to the House in 2016 and was selected by his GOP colleagues as majority whip in 2018. His primary role as whip was to build consensus among House Republicans on priority issues.

House Speaker David Osborne credited McCoy’s role in passing another signature GOP priority this year — a measure revamping the state’s tax code. The measure is aimed at gradually phasing out individual income taxes while extending the state sales tax to more services.

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“You can’t exaggerate the role Chad has played in crafting the policies that play a significant role in our ability to pass legislation like a tax modernization package that will soon allow Kentuckians to keep more of their hard-earned money by eliminating the income tax,” Osborne said. “While I am saddened by his decision to retire, I wish him the very best.”

The charter schools and tax modernization bills were vetoed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. Republican lawmakers overrode both vetoes this week.

The charter schools bill sets up a long-term funding method for charters. Public charters, like traditional public schools, would receive a mix of local and state tax support. It also requires at least two charter schools be created under pilot projects — one in Louisville and one in northern Kentucky.

McCoy and other supporters said charter schools would give parents more choices for their children’s schooling. Opponents said charters would divert funding from traditional public schools.

McCoy, whose district is in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country, also was a leading advocate for legislation benefiting the state’s bourbon industry.

McCoy will continue his legislative duties until his term concludes at the end of this year.

His retirement leaves two Republicans competing for his seat in the May primary election. No Democrat filed for the seat.