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Och, Frank, We Barely Knew Thee!

The Paducah Sun is reporting that Frank Rasche is leaving the House to take a job in the Education Cabinet as a policy adviser. Rasche, a legislator since 1993, represents a portion of McCracken County.

Rasche is chair of the House Education Committee and serves on the Banking and Judiciary Committees. He has been an able and affable chair. He got along with lobbyists with competing interests. A former school board member, Rasche understood education from pre-K to tech school to post secondary. 

Rasche hasn't talked to the press about his reasons for leaving. We can speculate - the drive isn't getting any shorter and he isn't getting any younger (none of us!). The race in 2006 was a more bruising one than his 2-1 victory over Bruce Brockenborough made it sound. We remember the ads and the flyers on cars criticizing him. Rasche isn't a natural campaigner. He appeared uncomfortable with public speaking. Brockenborough, a Paxton relation, had some early momentum that dissipated when Rasche got rolling. However, given the choice of a good paying job and running that sort of race again surely figured into his decision to leave. No one filed against him for the November 2008 election, but it is only a matter of time before old lions like Rasche face another challenger.

Rasche made running the Education Committee look easy. We don't think the next chair will find it the cakewalk it looked to be under Rasche's leadership.  Rasche got on well with his counterpart in the Senate, Ken Winters, another West Kentuckian, who is facing his own battle with former Rep. Carroll Hubbard.

Snaring Rasche is a masterful move on the part of Governor Steve Beshear.  He will be getting a friendly face as his liaison in the Legislature, a policy adviser on education issues with a encyclopedic knowledge of how it all works.
While we wish Rep. Rasche the best, we also hope that other West Kentucky representatives will step into his shoes and advocate for children across the Commonwealth as he did.

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