David Kaplan

This has to be a first in Louisville, Kentucky – two Ivy League-educated attorneys vying for a seat on the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Our first calls this morning were about a shocker in the Jefferson County Board of Education race: “Did you see David Jones, Jr.’s Tweet last night about the school board?”

The answer, unfortunately, was no. But here it is:

Have decided to run for #JCPS Bd of Education. Nothing matters more to Louisville’s future than education of our youth, and I hope to help.

David Jones, Jr.

Jones is running against David Kaplan, who announced yesterday morning, for the District 2 seat representing the Highlands, a seat now held by Steve Imhoff. Imhoff – also is an attorney, though not an Ivy Leaguer – isn’t seeking reelection.

Jones has a law degree from Yale University. Kaplan earned has his JD from Harvard University.

Jones and Kaplan both live in The Highlands neighborhood. Both sent their children to Jefferson County Public Schools.

Kaplan, former chief of staff to the speaker of the Kentucky House Jody Richards, and a former state assistant attorney general, has a masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Kaplan is currently a managing partner at the Louisville office of the law firm of Miller Wells PLLC.

In a news release yesterday, Kaplan stated:

We owe every child in Jefferson County the opportunity to have an excellent public education and we owe nothing less to our taxpayers as well. Our city’s economy and quality of life depends on the success of our schools. A vibrant public school system that graduates successful students and good citizens will benefit everyone.

Jones, chairman of Humana Inc. from 2005 to 2010, is chairman and managing partner at Louisville-based Chrysalis Ventures, which manages a venture fund investing in early-stage companies. Chrysalis has about $400 million under management, according to its website.

Jones told the Courier-Journal, “If we don’t have an educated citizenry, we won’t have an economy that will create great jobs. The quality of the workforce is so important to this community. JCPS does a lot of things really well, but a lot of kids who are attending JCPS are not getting what they need for the future.”

Jones’s wife, Mary Gwen Wheeler, is an education activist and executive director of 55,000 Degrees, a public-private initiative with the goal of adding 40,000 bachelor’s degrees and 15,000 associate’s degrees to Louisville’s workforce between 2010 and 2020.

More as we know more about each candidate’s positions.