Wife of injured former lawmaker named GOP nominee in special election

Dewayne Bunch stepped down after injury breaking up a fight

jbrammer@herald-leader.comNovember 15, 2011 

FRANKFORT — The wife of former state Rep. Dewayne Bunch, who resigned his state House seat last month because of injuries he suffered while trying to break up a school fight, might replace him in the legislature.

Regina Bunch, a special education teacher in the Whitley County school system, was selected Monday evening by GOP leaders from Laurel and Whitley counties to be the party nominee to replace her husband.

Gov. Steve Beshear has called a special election for Dec. 20 to fill the vacant 82nd House district seat.

State Republican Party chairman Steve Robertson said Monday night that former Whitley County superintendent Lonnie Anderson had considered seeking the GOP nomination, but that he sent a letter to party leaders in support of Regina Bunch.

Regina Bunch said in a statement, "My husband worked extremely hard to obtain the position of state representative of the 82nd District. He felt it was time for a new approach and most importantly to restore integrity and confidence in government, with the strategy of all working together to advance the commonwealth."

Whitley County Democratic Party chairman Donnie Witt said Democrats in the district "right now have no plans" to pick a Democratic nominee, because "Regina Bunch would be hard to beat."

He said Regina Bunch "would get the sympathy vote and vote from teachers. The church people around here also think she deserves the seat."

Dewayne Bunch suffered head injuries earlier this year when he tried to break up a fight at Whitley County High School, where he taught.

Beshear said he chose Dec. 20 for the special election to give residents of the district representation in the 2012 General Assembly that begins Jan. 3.

The winner of the special election will take office immediately after the results are certified by the state Board of Elections and after taking the oath of office.

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