Former Kentucky GOP candidate for governor endorses Democrat against Republican incumbent

A former Republican candidate for Kentucky governor has endorsed incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin's Democratic rival.

William Woods announced his endorsement of Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear in a video posted Monday to Twitter.

"This election isn't about politics to me, It's about doing the right thing," Woods said. “I’m ready for a governor who will respect all of us, regardless of political affiliation."

Woods finished a distant third in May's gubernatorial primary with just over 14,000 votes, compared to 136,000 votes for Bevin.

In his message, Woods cited Beshear's support for public schools and law enforcement. The reference to schools refers to last year's tensions between teachers and state Republican lawmakers over several education bills.

At one point, teachers across the state called in sick in protest against changes to the management of their pension system, forcing some school districts to close several times.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, left, and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear participate in a debate at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 15. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP, Pool)

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, left, and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear participate in a debate at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 15. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP, Pool)

Bevin criticized the "sickouts" and state educators, saying they left "students in the lurch."

In a statement to Fox News, Bevin's campaign manager, Davis Paine, said the governor is "proud to have the support of real Kentucky leaders on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats."

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"It’s not news that Andy Beshear has earned the support of an unknown anti-Trump liberal," Paine added.

President Trump has thrown his support to Bevin and plans to hold a rally on Nov. 4  --  the day before the election -- at Rupp Arena in Lexington.